Huberman Archeology in Jerusalem

  • Issue: June 1990
  • Designer: E. Weishoff
  • Stamp size: 34.6 x 25.7 mm
  • Plate no.: 97
  • Sheet of 50 stamps Tabs: 5
  • Printers: E. Lewin-Epstein Ltd.
  • Method of printing: Offset

Jerusalem has been extolled and glorified since time immemorial. More than any other city in the world, it has been crowned with honour and wreathed in praises. Jerusalem has been called "The City of God", "The Eternal City", "City of the Prophets", "City of Soul and Spirit", "City of Beauty", and a great many other laudatory appellations.

Dedicated archaeologists, probing the secrets of Jerusalem's chequered past, have unearthed artifacts from a plethora of human cultures dating back through all the ages of Mankind. Since the city's very beginnings, the fine stonework of Jerusalem - its ancient reliefs and capitals -has borne silent witness to the skill and pride of its artists and masons.

Mamluk relief. 14th century

In the 14th - 15th century CE., during the reign of the Mamluks in the Holy Land, scores of religious structures were built in Jerusalem. They included tombs, religious academies, residences for dervishes, and bath-houses and hostels for pilgrims. The buildings were designed and built in the best traditions of Egyptian Mamluk architecture. Some of them were built by the State but many were built by Mamluk emirs, who chose to be buried in Jerusalem and erected structures for this purpose. Students of the academies would read sections of the Koran for the souls of the departed.

Between the lintels, dedicatory inscriptions were engraved in stone, commemorating the builders and their memory. Occasionally, the personal insignia of the emir who built the structure is carved at the centre of the inscription. The insignia decorating the goblet, which appears on the present stamp, belongs to Emir Sayif Ad-Din At-Taz, who was a member of the Egyptian Mamluk aristocracy. In his early years Taz served as Cup-Bearer at the Sultan's Court. The academy which he built, whose facade contains the lintel with his personal insignia, is to be found in Rehov Shalshelet (Chain Street), about 150 yards west of the Chain Gate on the Temple Mount. The structure is known by the name of Almedrasa At-Tazia.

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Archeology in Jerusalem (VI)