The Khan at al-Sukkariyya: A station on the Gaza-Hebron route

Katia Cytryn-Silverman, Jeffrey A. Blakely

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Probably in 1317 a charitable road-inn, a khan, was erected at Sukkariyya, a site that catered to the Cairo-Damascus road at least since the early Islamic period. In this article we examine a rich repertoire of literary, epigraphic, and documentary evidence that sheds some light on this village and its inn. We learn this was a khan al-sabil, a charitable public inn, which gave accommodation to all faiths and all types of travelers. The Western pilgrims who passed this inn would have either come from or were heading to Gaza, St. Katherine's Monastery, and Cairo. We also suggest that the amir Al Malik (d. 1346) might be its patron, and note the possibility that the "fair mosque" seen by Felix Fabri and his companions in 1483 adjoining the inn is the one mentioned in an inscription recovered at the site in the 20th century, dating the mosque's erection to 1336. Later the village of al-Sukkariyya and its lands may have been part of an endowment of amir Fakhr al-Din 'Abd al-Ghani bin Abi 'l-Faraj, ustadar of sultan al-Mu'ayyad Shaykh, and surely part of sultan Qaytbay's waqf lands. We see use of the khan waning around 1500, and by the middle of the 16th century, even the village was abandoned and returned to agriculture.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)201-229
Number of pages29
JournalBulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research
StatePublished - May 2013


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