Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Unravelling the walls of God's war : an archaeological approach to the Holy Land's Fatimid, Ayyubid, and Frankish city walls from 1099-1291
Author: Charland, Amanda Corinne Ellen
ISNI:       0000 0004 5355 164X
Awarding Body: University of Glasgow
Current Institution: University of Glasgow
Date of Award: 2014
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
This thesis presents a study of urban defence from a social or symbolic as well as a military perspective. For the past 150 years, Crusader castle research has provided many excellent studies. However, the field has been dominated by military historians, focussed on the evolution of architecture and debating stylistic origins. Urban fortifications are overshadowed by the imperious keeps standing within their walls unless they contribute to the discussion of military advancements. The study of these fortifications is further biased by their Frankish-centric material, rarely considering the biography of the site, thus downplaying Muslim elements. Other castle research, like that from Britain, has moved past this military focus, turning towards social or symbolic interpretations. Instead of incorporating both lines of interpretation, a divide was created leading to the interpretative straightjacket known as the ‘war or status’ rut. In order to rectify these biases and escape the straightjacket this PhD project seeks to answer the question: what are the military and social or symbolic functions of city walls? This thesis aims to: address the field’s bias by evaluating the full biography of the city walls during the Frankish era (1099–1291); take into account both Frankish and Muslim occupations of the sites; incorporate evidence of city wall use from multiple disciplines, such as history, architecture, sigillography, and art; and analyze the data using the theoretical concepts of biography, monumentality and memory. These aims are met through the case studies of Ascalon and Caesarea. By taking into account evidence from multiple fields, this thesis effectively unravels the functions of these cities’ city walls so that they are no longer limited by their military treatments. These case studies demonstrate that the city walls did not stand idly throughout the course of the Crusader era. They were used as monumental demonstrations of élite power as well as objects of civic pride and community achievement. They provided apotropaic as well as military protection against their enemies and were used to display domination and victory, demonstrating one group’s oppression and conquest over the other.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: CC Archaeology