Hitta Gate

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The Gate of Remission, (Arabic: Bab Hıttah‎), which is not open today, is also known as the Gate of Prophet (Bab an- Nabi) and The Gate of Forgiveness. Le Strange identified this gate as Bab Hittah (Le Strange, 1890, p.166). According to Al-Ratrout this change of name would probably have occurred as a result of its restoration over centuries. This gate is located below present Bab al-Magharibah (Moroccans Gate), about 90 metres north of the south-west corner of al-Aqsa enclave (Galor, 2013, p.213 and Al-Ratrout, 2004, p.339) The Gate of Remission is the one of the usual main entries to the area and single gate at that time (Kaplony, 2002, p.430). There is a person regarding that gate; James Thomas Barclay who a doctor and missionary from the United States carried out a research of Al-Aqsa enclave in 1850’s. Barclay also examined the gate where is blocked in the in the Buraq Wall of the enclave from inside; the gate has nametake as "Barclay's Gate".

Barclay, in the his book The City of the Great King mentioned “This gate is without doupt one of the two mentioned by Josephus as leading into Parbar; and is important element in the restoration of the temple. It also affords another proof of the reliability of the hebrew historian” (Barclay, 1858, p.489). The Parbar, was refered by Barclay, as definition, is a structure or building attached to the west side of Solomon's temple in the old testament. He connected with jewish history by based on religious narratives. According to Al- Ratrout, Barclay influenced by biblical background and did not pay attention to the early Muslim period of the gate ( Al-Ratrout, 2004, p.339).

Architecture [edit]

There are many informations regarding this gate in sources but architecturally detail and reliable information are in the Haithem Al- Ratrout’s book. According to Al- Ratrout “The gate is a vaulted passage with a single door from the flat lintel to the threshold, 5.06 meters wide and 8.80 meters high. The ratio between the width and height of the door is obtained by the succession of the square series. Warren noticed that the inside face of the lintel was hidden by a 5-stone flat belt. (Warren and Cloude, 1884, p.192). The researcher of this thesis re-examined the gate; he noticed that the stone courses on each side of the Gate are not on the same level. The stones of the gate, as first suggested by Wilson and confirmed by Warren, are not really in-situ, (Warren and Cloude, 1884, p.188) which indicates that it was constructed with reused stones. Concerning the history of this gate before the early Islamic period, it is useless to speculate because there is no clear evidence” ( Al-Ratrout, 2004, p.347). From an archaeological point of view, According to Al-Ratrout this gate certainly served as an entrance to al- Aqsa Mosque in the early Islamic period. This view arised after Ben-Dov uncovered a sewage channel outside the western wall of al-Aqsa Mosque that runs close to the threshold of this gate under the street that was level with the threshold ( Al-Ratrout, 2004, p.347). Since the pavement and the channel date back to the early Islamic period, this gate must have been in use in the Umayyad period (Ben-Dov, 1985, p.142). The gate existed before the period of Crusaders.

Early traditions which can certainly be dated to the umayyad period mention Bab Hıttah (Amikam, 1999, p.50). The door rises from the passageway of the two intersecting wings to the level of the enclave; Creates an inverted L shape in the plan. The crossing line runs about 24.50 meters east at right angles through the door, and then continues 13 meters to the south parallel to the Burak Wall of the enclave ( Al-Ratrout, 2004, p.347). According to Jacobson and Gibson an Umayyad attribution for the arm of the passage rising to the south makes sense for several reasons. It is now becoming clear that the Umayyad period saw a major reconstruction of the entire Al-Haram Al-Sharif enclosure and not simply the construction of the major buildings within, namely the Dome of the Rock and the al-Aqsa Mosque (Jacobson and Gibson, 1997, p.141). More than one roof type can be distinguished in the passage. There is a segmental barrel adjacent to the door, with a chamfered edge that spans an adjacent area of 5.76 meters wide and 1.20 meters high. It is defined by the radius of the circle surrounding the square. This vault is followed by another vault-shaped barrel vault for passage 6.20 meters wide and 3.10 meters high. At the meeting point of the E-W and N-S passages, a shallow dome was used to cover the intersection; it actually rests on the side walls and three separate segmental arches of the grooved edges, the two are still alive today ( Al-Ratrout, 2004, p.349). The present Bab Hıtta is located in northern side of Al-Haram Al- Sharif between the Gate of the Tribes and the Gate of Darkness. The present gate and the gate which is in the Umayyad Periyod are different monuments each other. The gate and the word of Hıtta were mentioned in the verses 58th, 59th of Bakara Chapter but these words are exactly different from monuments in the Al-Aqsa enclave. It was referred that the gate means the gate of Jericho city in the verses.


References [edit]

Elad, Amikam (1999), Medieval Jerusalem and Islamic Worship: Holy Places, Ceremonies, Pilgrimage, Brill, Netherlands p.50

Le Strange, Guy (1890), Palestine Under The Moslems Guy, p.179-180 https://archive.org/details/palestineundermo00lest/page/n11/mode/2up/search/hittah

Warren, Charless and Conder, Claude (1884), The Survey of Western Palestine, The Committee of the Palestine Exploration Fund], London, P.188-192 https://archive.org/details/surveyofwesternp00warruoft/page/n3/mode/2up/search/hitta

Ben-Dov, Meir (1985), In the Shadow of the Temple: The Discovery of Ancient Jerusalem, Keter Publishing House, Israel, p.142 https://archive.org/details/inshadowoftemp00bend/page/12

Jacobson, David and Gibson, Shimon (1997), The Original Form Of Barclay's Gate, Palestine Exploration Quarterly 129 (1997) 138-149

Al-Ratrout, Haithem F. (2004), The Architectural Development Of Al-Aqsa Mosque In The Early Islamic Period Sacred Architecture In The Shape Of The ‘Holy’ , Al-Maktoum Institute Academic Press, United Kingdom

Kaplony, Andreas (2002), The Haram of Jerusalem, 324–1099: Temple, Friday Mosque, Area of Spiritual Power, Franz Steiner Verlag, Zurich

James Thomas, Barclay (1858),The City Of The Great King, p.489

Galor, Katharina and Bloedhorn, Hanswulf (2013), The Archaeology of Jerusalem: From the Origins to the Ottomans, Yale University Press, London p.213