Thursday, February 18, 2010

Ancient Arabic inscription found in Jerusalem

clipped from news.yahoo.com
An Israel Antiquities Authority worker holds a fragment of a marble plaque with

JERUSALEM – A home renovation in Jerusalem's Old City has yielded a rare Arabic inscription offering insight into the city's history under Muslim rule, Israeli archaeologists said Wednesday. The fragment of a 1,100-year-old plaque is thought to have been made by an army veteran to express his thanks for a land grant from the Caliph al-Muqtadir, whom the inscription calls "Emir of the Faithful."

Dating from a time when Jerusalem was ruled from Baghdad by the Abbasid empire, the plaque shows how rulers rewarded their troops and ensured their loyalty, archaeologists said.

The Abbasids conquered Jerusalem after numerous wars with the Fatimid empire in Egypt. The Abbasid caliphs valued Jerusalem as an Islamic holy site.

The writing was deciphered by Hebrew University professor Moshe Sharon, who traced it to 910, during the early part of al-Muqtadir's 24-year rule.

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