Monday, February 21, 2011

Fortress of Anavarza (Arabic: Ayn Zarba)

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This fortress was constructed in the frontier zone between Islamic and Byzantine Empires. It was strongly refortified by the 'Abbasid Caliph Harun al-Rashid in AD 796 and again by the Hamdanid Ruler of Aleppo in the tenth century AD.

1. largely abandoned pre-Islamic lower city;

2. lower castle surrounded by fortifications on northern and eastern sides, and by sheer cliffs on the southern and western sides;

3. surviving gate of lower castle, probably 'Abbasid late eighth century AD;

4. walls and towers largely rebuilt in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries AD;

5. first entrance complex to upper citadel, strengthened during Armenian period;

6. second entrance complex, probably Islamic, eighth to tenth centuries AD;

7. upper citadel


D. Nicolle, "Saracen Strongholds AD 630-1050," Fortress 76, (Osprey Pub.-2008), P. 29

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