UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Umayyad Jerusalem and the production of social spaces Zhang, Michael W.


Following the Islamic conquest of Jerusalem in the early 7th century, the new rulers of the city almost immediately began a series of architectural, administrative, and urban development projects. I will be focusing specifically on several projects undertaken during the Umayyad dynasty. So far, there have been extensive discussions locating the ways in which the Umayyads made political and religious claims to Jerusalem. I will expand on this scholarship by looking at and integrating a third facet: the social. By examining how, during the Umayyad period, new public spaces were produced and used in Jerusalem, how construction projects attracted and retained skilled workers in the city, and how the government and the community encouraged and demonstrated an amenability towards a dynamic economy, we will broaden our understanding of how cities are built in both medieval and current contexts. More specifically, it will reveal how a social method contributed to an Islamic claim to Jerusalem, but at the same time, establish the city as a destination point for travelers of diverse backgrounds.

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