Jordània, dia 7: visita a Amman i Jarash ( 3 de gener de 2018) (IV)


Islamic era
In the 630s, the Rashidun army conquered the region from the Byzantines, beginning the Islamic era in the Levant. Philadelphia was renamed "Amman" by the Muslims and became part of the district of Jund al-Urdunn. A large part of the population already spoke Arabic, which facilitated integration into the caliphate, as well as several conversions to Islam. Under the Umayyad caliphs who began their rule in 661 AD, numerous desert castles were established as a means to govern the desert area of modern-day Jordan, several of which are still well-preserved. Amman had already been functioning as an administrative centre. The Umayyads built a large palace on the Amman Citadel hill, known today as the Umayyad Palace. Amman was later destroyed by several earthquakes and natural disasters, including a particularly severe earthquake in 747. The Umayyads were overthrown by the Abbasids three years later.
Amman's importance declined by the mid-8th century after damage caused by several earthquakes rendered it uninhabitable. Excavations among the collapsed layer of the Umayyad Palace have revealed remains of kilns from the time of the Abbasids (750-696) and the Fatimids (969-1099). In the late 9th century, Amman was noted as the "capital" of the Balqa by geographer al-Yaqubi. Likewise, in 985, the Jerusalemite historian al-Muqaddasi described Amman as the capital of Balqa, and that it was a town in the desert fringe of Syria surrounded by villages and cornfields and was a regional source of lambs, grain and honey.  Furthermore, al-Muqaddasi describes Amman as a "harbor of the desert" where Arab Bedouin would take refuge, and that its citadel, which overlooked the town, contained a small mosque.
The occupation of the Citadel Hill by the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem is so far based only on interpretations of Crusader sources. William of Tyre writes in his Historia that in 1161 Philip of Milly received the castle of "Ahamant", which is seen to refer to Amman, as part of the Lordship of Oultrejordain. In 1166 Philip joined the military order of the Knights Templar, passing on to them a significant part of his fiefincluding the castle of Ahamant or "Haman", as it is named in the deed of confirmation issued by King Amalric. The remains of a watch tower on Citadel Hill, first attributed to the Crusaders, now are preferentially dated to the Ayyubid period, after 1187, leaving it to further research to find the location of the Crusader castle. During the Ayyubid period, the Damascene geographer al-Dimashqi wrote that Amman was part of the province of al-Karak, although "only ruins" remained of the town.
During the Mamluk era (late 13th–early 16th centuries), the region of Amman was a part of Wilayat Balqa, the southernmost district of Mamlakat Dimashq (Damascus Province). The capital of the district in the first half of the 14th century was the minor administrative post of Hisban, which had a considerably smaller garrison than the other administrative centers in Transjordan, namely Ajlun and al-Karak. In 1321, the geographer Abu'l Fida, recorded that Amman was "a very ancient town" with fertile soil and surrounded by agricultural fields. For unclear, though likely financial reasons, in 1356, the capital of Balqa was transferred from Hisban to Amman, which was considered a madina (city).  In 1357, Emir Sirghitmish bought Amman in its entirety, most likely to use revenues from the city to help fund the Madrasa of Sirghitmish, which he built in Cairo that same year. After his purchase of the city, Sirghitmish transferred the courts, administrative bureaucracy, markets and most of the inhabitants of Hisban to Amman. Moreover, he financed new building works in the city.
Ownership of Amman following Sirghitmish's death in 1358 passed to successive generations of his descendants until 1395, when his descendants sold it to Emir Baydamur al-Khwarazmi, the na'ib as-saltana (viceroy) of Damascus. Afterward, part of Amman's cultivable lands were sold to Emir Sudun al-Shaykhuni (died 1396), the na'ib as-saltana of Egypt. The increasingly frequent division and sale of the city and lands of Amman to different owners signaled declining revenues coming from Amman, while at the same time, Hisban was restored as the major city of the Balqa in the 15th century. From the 15th century onward until 1878, Amman became an abandoned pile of ruins only sporadically used for shelter by seasonal farmers from elsewhere who used the arable land of the area, and by Bedouin tribes who used its pastures and water.
The Ottoman Empire annexed the region of Amman in 1516, but for much of the Ottoman period, al-Salt functioned as the virtual political centre of Transjordan. Amman was only resettled starting from 1878, when hundreds of Circassians arrived following their exodus from the Caucasus during the rule of Sultan Abdul Hamid II. Between 1872–1910, tens of thousands of Circassians were forcibly relocated to Ottoman Syria from historical Circassia by the Russian Empire during the events of the Russo-Circassian War English traveller Laurence Oliphant wrote of a visit to the settlement of Amman in 1879 in his The Land of Gilead.
Modern era
Ottoman records from 1906 show around 5,000 Circassians living in Amman and virtually no inhabitants who spoke Arabic. The city's demographics changed dramatically after the Ottoman government's decision to construct the Hejaz Railway, which linked Damascus and Medina, and facilitated the annual Hajj pilgrimage and trade. Because of its location along the railway, Amman was transformed from a small village into a major commercial hub in the region.
The First and Second Battle of Amman were part of the Middle Eastern theatre of World War I and the Arab Revolt, taking place in 1918. Amman had a strategic location along the Hejaz Railway; its capture by British forces and the Hashemite Arab army facilitated the British advance towards Damascus. The second battle was won by the British, resulting in the establishment of the British Mandate.
In 1921, the Hashemite emir and later king, Abdullah I, designated Amman instead of al-Salt to be the capital of the newly created state, the Emirate of Transjordan, which became the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in 1950. Its function as the capital of the country attracted immigrants from different Levantine areas, particularly from al-Salt, a nearby city that had been the largest urban settlement east of the Jordan River at the time. The early settlers who came from Palestine were overwhelmingly from Nablus, from which many of al-Salt's inhabitants had originated. They were joined by other immigrants from Damascus. Amman later attracted people from the southern part of the country, particularly Al Karak and Madaba. The city's population was around 10,000 in the 1930s.
(Continuarà)
(La imatge és de la ciutadella d'Amman)

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