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1 July 2004

Modified

Neathery and Michael Fuller,

Archaeologists

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Crusader Era Sites - Middle East

Shaizar/Cesara

 

  • 999 Fatamid castle along the Orontes River is captured by Byzantines.

  • 1081 Banu Munqidh Arab clan sieze castle.

  • 1108 Tancred, Prince of Antioch, attacks Shaizar.

  • 1110 Tancred, Prince of Antioch, attacks Shaizar but finally agrees to a treaty.

  • 1134 Byzantine forces attack.

  • 1138 Byzantine troops under John II Comnenus besieges Sheizar but does not get Crusader support in the siege..

  • 1157 Earthquake damages the castle and Crusaders briefly occupy the lower portion of the town. The Emir and his entire family die in the earthquake. Ismaelites from Masyaf intervene to keep Crusaders from establishing a foothold.

  • 1158 Crusaders besiege the castle, unsuccessfully.

  • 1168 Nur ad-din of Aleppo occupies the castle.

    1170 Further earthquake damage.
  • 1174 Salahdin brings entire area under Ayyubid control.

  • 1233 New keep built on citadel by Ayyubids.

  • 1260 to 1261 Mongol destuction to parts of castle with rebuilt by Mamluk Sultan Baibars.

  • 1290 Mamluk Sultan Qalaun inscription on the large gate.


Entrance to castle.

Detail of castle gate.

Mamluk gate inscription and arrowslot.

Friends of Professor Michael Fuller at entrance of the castle.

Murder hole directly above the entry point through the gate.

Arabic inscription inside of gate.

Arabic inscription inside of gate.

Arabic inscription inside of gate.

Restoration work during 2004 just inside of entrance.

Ruins near entrance.

Ruins of 2 story tower near entrance (location of GPS reading).

Ruins of two story building near entrance of the site; facing south.

Well head and Medieval walls in central portion of the castle.

Well being restored near entrance of castle.

Donkeys grazing in the middle portion of the site; look north.

Tie-off stone built into the wall of a building.

Ruins in the middle portion of the site; facing north.

Ruins near the middle of the site that are Late Mamluk or Ottoman in style.

Intact Ottoman Period building plus traces of Late Medieval buildings.

Castle keep at the south end of the site.

Vault inside a portion of the castle keep.

Careful stone work of the castle keep.

Detail of a doorway in the castle keep.

Massive crack in the castle keep.

Fancy door on the west side of the castle keep.

Light color stone used in restoration of the castle keep.

Goats grazing around the foot of the castle keep.

Ayyubid inscription along the north face of the castle keep.

Castle keep from nearby vaults.

Shadow of the castle keep against the wadi east of the site.

View from castle keep looking north towards the middle of the castle.

Arrowshots in the tower just north of the castle keep.

Arrowshot in the tower just north of the castle keep.

Arrowshot in the tower just north of the castle keep.

Glacis of the castle on the west side of the castle.

Nouria (Arabic, waterwheel) situated approximately a kilometer northwest of the castle along the Orontes River.

 



GPS DATA for Shaizar

1. Entrance
North 35 degrees 16.068' and East 036 degrees 34.005
Approximate elevation of 222 m. above sea level

2. Tower just inside of Entrance
North 35 degrees 15.991' and East 036 degrees 33.989'
approximate elevation of 245 m.

3. Well near Entrance
North 35 degrees 15.959' and East 036 degrees 33.986''
approximate elevation of 251 m.

4. Well near center of lower town
North 35 degrees 15.918' and East 036 degrees 33.981'
approximate elevation of 264 m.

5. Junction of Aqueduct with castle wall
North 35 degrees 15.824' and East 036 degrees 33.926'
approximate elevation of 257 m.