National Museum of Setif
Hegira 406–547 / AD 1015–1152
Height 64 cm, width 24 cm, depth 7.5 cm
Qasr al-Manar, Qal’at Bani Hammad, Algeria.
This merlon, with its rectangular base prolonged on both sides by two projecting notches, is crowned by an element in the shape of a leaf whose concave surface has two perforations at its centre. The green-coloured enamel that covers the surface runs over the edge onto the lateral sides. Fragmented into two parts, the piece was restored with plaster on its posterior side.
This merlon, along with other similar elements, constitutes one of the friezes that crowned the summit of the façades of Hammadid palaces.
The holes that can be seen on the surface of the leaf might have been used to accommodate the fixing of bolts.
Rectangular-base merlon topped with a leaf-shaped object, the concave surface of which has two holes for attaching it. It is coloured with a blue-green glaze that has disappeared in places. This merlon was part of a frieze used to adorn Hammadid palaces.
Merlon was found in the Qal'at Bani Hammad (5th–6th / AD 11th–12th centuries).
The merlon was found by Golvin in the palace of Manar. Furthermore, these merlons have appeared in abundance in the palace of Manar, but have not appeared elsewhere.
Bourouiba, R, Les H'ammadites, Algiers, 1984.
Golvin, L., Recherches archéologiques à la Qal'a des Banû Hammâd (Algérie), Paris, 1965, pl. LXV.
Institut du Monde Arabe, L'Algérie en héritage, art et histoire, catalogue, Paris, 2003.
Leila Merabet "Merlon" in Discover Islamic Art, Museum With No Frontiers, 2018. http://www.discoverislamicart.org/database_item.php?id=object;ISL;dz;Mus01;17;en
Prepared by: Leila MerabetLeila Merabet
Titulaire d'un magister en archéologie islamique (spécialité épigraphie arabe), conservateur du patrimoine archéologique et historique, Leila Merabet est chef du service Conservation et Valorisation (section islamique) au Musée national des antiquités. Elle a publié de nombreux articles dans les Annales du Musée national des antiquités.
Copyedited by: Margot Cortez
Translation by: Maria Vlotides
Translation copyedited by: Monica Allen
MWNF Working Number: AL 24