First experiences of Mshatta




Townson, Alexander Derrick

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The early Islamic work of architecture known as Mshatta has been the subject of numerous studies since it was rediscovered by European travellers to Jordan in the late nineteenth century CE. In the absence of a dedicatory inscription, efforts were launched to establish the site's patronage. The current consensus is that it is an Umayyad structure likely built for the caliph Walid Il during the period of his rule, which lasted from 743-744 CE. In my thesis. 1 examine the contextual evidence that supports Walid II's candidacy, as well as that which supports another possible patron. Yazid II. I then analyse Mshatta's façade from the perspective of an on-site viewer. Since the structure was never finished and the façade has been removed from its original context, my study involves some conjecture. However, this is necessary in order to determine how Mshatta was intended to be experienced by a first-time visitor.



Islamic architecture, Jordan