Jerusalem Archaeological Park
The Seljuks/Turcomans (1073-1098 CE)

The Seljuks are named for the founder of the dynasty, Seljuk, who was the first of the family members to accept the faith of Muhammad in the mid- eleventh century. The Seljuks were originally a Turkish tribe of shepherds, heading a group of Turcoman tribes. The Seljuk ruler held the title of Sultan and was subordinate to the Abbasid caliph.

The Seljuk Sultans were frequently occupied with religious matters, which were generally the responsibility of the Abbasid caliph. The Shi`ite religious policy of the Seljuks is well attested in the construction and maintenance of structures all over the empire: magnificent Mosques, hospitals, hostels, religious schools (madrasa) and Khanaqahs.
In June 1073 CE (AH 465) Atsiz, the Turcoman commander, invaded Jerusalem on behalf of the sultan Malk-Sha`a, and the city was designated as the Capital of Syria for the following three years. The city was retaken by the Fatimids in 1098 CE (AH 491) for a year, until the summer of 1099, when the Crusaders conquered the city.
The most important source for the study of Turcoman Jerusalem is the description of the Muslim traveler, Abu Bakhar Ibn al-Arabi, who lived there between 1092 and 1095 CE. According to his account, this was a period of extensive pilgrimage from all over the Arab world. He also describes two madrasas - probably the first ones erected in Jerusalem before the Crusader conquest. During the Turcoman occupation of Jerusalem a momentous event took place in the Jewish community of the city - the Yeshiva of Eretz Israel was transferred from Jerusalem to Tyre.
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