Hegira 1142–5 / AD 1730–33
Aydınlı Abdullah Pasha, Governor of Damascus (AH 1142–5 /AD 1730-33).
The last station before entering Saudi borders on the Pilgrimage route, the complex at Mudawwara comprises a fortress, a water reservoir, and a paved road.
The fortress has a square plan (19 m x 19 m). The maximum preserved height is about 9 m. The whole structure was built of sandstone blocks. From the outside the fortress was articulated by small towers at the upper corners, while the corners at the ground level were strengthened by buttresses at about 1 m from the ground. The walls were provided with two rows of slit windows. The tops of the northern and western walls were flat while the eastern and southern walls were decorated with battlements. It is noteworthy in this regard that the northern and western walls are slightly higher than the two other walls and their tops are of different masonry; most probably they were built in later periods.
The gate complex is located at the centre of the eastern wall. It consists of a rectangular entrance and a barrel-vaulted passageway leading to the central courtyard (about 8 m x 8 m). The entrance is marked by a large (about 5.5 m x 2.5 m) machicolation (projecting window), comprising one large window with two slit windows either side, resting on an arch supported by corbels. At ground level nine barrel-vaulted rooms were organised around the central courtyard. The staircases to the first floor were placed on both sides of the passageway. On the first floor nine rooms of different sizes and shapes were built around a central courtyard.
The last Jordanian station on the Pilgrimage route to Hijaz, the complex at Mudawwara comprises a fortress, a reservoir and a paved road. The fortress, dated to the time of Abdullah Pasha (Governor of Damascus AH 1142–5 / AD 1730 –3), is built of sandstone blocks with a square plan (19 m x19 m). The walls were provided with two rows of slit windows. The tops of the northern and western walls were flat while the eastern and southern walls, shorter and perhaps earlier, were decorated with battlements. The entrance is marked by a large projecting window on an arch supported by corbels.
On the basis of historical documents the fortress was dated to the time of Abdullah Pasha, Governor of Damascus from 1730 to 1733. Stylistic analysis suggests that at ground level the rooms are arranged around a central courtyard, Peterson (1986) attributed Mudawwara and Hasa to the early 12th / 18th century.
Burckhardt, J. L., Travels in Syria and the Holy Land, London, 1882, p.659.
Doughty, C. M., Travels in Arabia Deserts, London, 1926, p.97.
Edib, M., Manasik al-Hajj, Istanbul, 1779.
Musil, A., The Northern Hegaz: a Topographical Itinerary, New York, 1926.
Peterson, A., Early Ottoman Forts on The Hajj Route in Jordan, unpublished MA thesis, University of Oxford, 1986, pp.108–16.
Mohammad Najjar "Mudawwara" in Discover Islamic Art, Museum With No Frontiers, 2017. 2017. http://www.discoverislamicart.org/database_item.php?id=monument;ISL;jo;Mon01;19;en
Prepared by: Mohammad NajjarMohammad Najjar
Mohammad Najjar is an archaeologist and has been Director of Excavations and Surveys at the Department of Antiquities of Jordan since 1988. He studied archaeology at the Institute of Archaeology in Moscow from where he holds his Ph.D. He was affiliated to the Department of Antiquities of Jordan in 1982 as Curator of Jordan Archaeological Museum. He was the Technical Director of Cultural Resources Management (sites development) at the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities between 1994 and 1997. He is the author of numerous publications on the archaeology of Jordan.
Copyedited by: Mandi Gomez
MWNF Working Number: JO 19