Name of Object:

Inscribed limestone panel


Ajlun, Jordan

Holding Museum:

Ajlun Archaeological Museum

Date of Object:

Hegira 659 / AD 1261

Material(s) / Technique(s):

Inscribed limestone.


Length 1.27 m, width 58 cm

Period / Dynasty:



Ajlun, Jordan.


An inscribed limestone panel documenting the rebuilding of the Castle of Ajlun in Shaban in AH 659 (July 1261), during the reign of the Mamluk Sultan al-Zahir Baybars (AH 658–76 / AD 1260–77).

In AD 1927 an earthquake struck Jordan and Palestine which caused the collapse of the south-west corner of the Castle of Ajlun. In 1963 the Department of Antiquities of Jordan conducted a restoration programme of the south-west side of the castle and a clean up of the moat that surrounds it. While the operation was in progress this inscribed panel was found, which refers to the rebuilding of the third floor of the castle and which can, therefore, be securely dated to the Mamluk period.

The inscription consists of three lines written in naskhi (cursive) script that reads:

" عمل من ايام مولانا السلطان الملك الظاهر (ركن) الدنبا و الدين بيبرس الصالحي اعز الله انظاره بنظر العبد الفقير الراجي عفو الله و غفرانه (ملك) الامراء عز الدين ايبك العلائي بتاريخ العشرين من شعبان سنة تسعة و خمسين و ستماية".

'Done during the time of our master the Sultan the king al-Zahir (Rukn) al-dunia wa al-din Baybars al-Salhi who prayed for him by the servant of god who urge for the forgiveness from god (king) of the Amirs 'Izz al-Din Aybak al-'Ala'i on the date of the 20th of Sha`ban in the year 659'.

View Short Description

An inscribed limestone panel, written in naskhi (cursive) script, that documents the rebuilding of the third floor of the Castle of Ajlun on the 20th of Sha‘ban in AH 659 (July 1261), by Amir ‘Izz al-Din Aybak al-‘Ala’i, during the reign of the Mamluk Sultan al-Zahir Baybars (658–76 / 1260–77).

Original Owner:

‘Izz al-Din Aybak al- ‘Ala’i

How date and origin were established:

The inscription itself bears the dates of the reconstruction of the third floor of the castle.

How Object was obtained:

The panel was recovered in 1963 during restoration of the Castle of Ajlun and the cleaning of the surrounding moat.

How provenance was established:

The panel was found in the immediate vicinity of the castle, in the moat.

Selected bibliography:

العابدي.محمود، الآثار الإسلامية في فلسطين و الأردن، 1973، ص 221-230.

كردي.حنان، القلاع الأثرية في الأردن، منشورات وزارة السياحة و الآثار، عمان، 1974، ص27.

غوانمة.يوسف، تاريخ شرقي الأردن في عصر دولة المماليك الأولى، عمان، 1979، ص 225.

المومني.سعد، القلاع الإسلامية في الأردن: الفترة الأيوبية المملوكية، عمان، 1988، ص152.

Citation of this web page:

Aida Naghawy "Inscribed limestone panel" in Discover Islamic Art, Museum With No Frontiers, 2021.;ISL;jo;Mus01_B;30;en

Prepared by: Aida NaghawyAida Naghawy

Aida Naghawy is an archaeologist and the Director of Jordan Archaeological Museum. She studied archaeology at the University of Jordan where she gained her MA. She was affiliated to the Jordanian Department of Antiquities from 1974 as a curator of Jordan Archaeological Museum. In 1981 she became inspector of Jerash antiquities and co-ordinator of the Jerash International Rehabilitation project. She was also head of the archaeological awareness section at the Department of Antiquities. Aida is the author of numerous publications on Islamic coins. She has carried out excavation work in Jerash and is the founder of Jerash Archaeological Museum and the Islamic Museum of the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs.

Copyedited by: Mandi GomezMandi Gomez

Amanda Gomez is a freelance copy-editor and proofreader working in London. She studied Art History and Literature at Essex University (1986–89) and received her MA (Area Studies Africa: Art, Literature, African Thought) from SOAS in 1990. She worked as an editorial assistant for the independent publisher Bellew Publishing (1991–94) and studied at Bookhouse and the London College of Printing on day release. She was publications officer at the Museum of London until 2000 and then took a role at Art Books International, where she worked on projects for independent publishers and arts institutions that included MWNF’s English-language editions of the books series Islamic Art in the Mediterranean. She was part of the editorial team for further MWNF iterations: Discover Islamic Art in the Mediterranean Virtual Museum and the illustrated volume Discover Islamic Art in the Mediterranean.

True to its ethos of connecting people through the arts, MWNF has provided Amanda with valuable opportunities for discovery and learning, increased her editorial experience, and connected her with publishers and institutions all over the world. More recently, the projects she has worked on include MWNF’s Sharing History Virtual Museum and Exhibition series, Vitra Design Museum’s Victor Papanek and Objects of Desire, and Haus der Kulturen der Welt’s online publication 2 or 3 Tigers and its volume Race, Nation, Class.

MWNF Working Number: JO 60


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