Şâb Mosque and Enclosing Buildings


The excavations in 2006 yielded architectural remains from four different periods in an area of 54.00 m in length, 32.50 m in width, and 8.00 m in depth known by the locals as Molla Halil or Şâb Camii (Şâb Mosque), substantially contributing to the architecture of Hasankeyf .

The Şâb Mosque, which is similar to the Yamaç Mosque and Social Complex uncovered during the 2004 campaign in terms of its plan and architecture, consists of a harim (sanctuary), a vestibule (narthex) and an atrium . The harim has a transverse rectangular plan, probably a barrel vault, and a single nave. It was built using the infilling masonry technique mainly with stones, and interiors were plas¬tered with cas mortar. Regular cut stones of good quality were used in the construction of the crown gate, mihrab, and door and window jambs of the monumental structure. Many stones decorated with geometric and floral patterns, muqarna vaults, and floral decorated fragments of plaster (cas) panels were recovered from piles of debris. The assemblage probably belongs to the mihrab. . The upper level of the surviving qibla wall bears traces of a thick epigraphic band made of cas.

When scattered samples from mihrab are considered along with in situ architectural ornamentation, it appears that it had the same set-up with mihrab of the Yamaç Complex. The in- situ stones forming the inscription band are excessively worn. The narthex (son cemaat yeri) arranged in the form of a portico and the harim were built on the same level while the large courtyard to the north has a lower level. All floors were covered with cut stones, and a long rectangular pool was built in the courtyard .

The Şâb Mosque also has a topographically unique location. Since the ground is not flat on the rocky part of Hasankeyf, – probably inspired by sturdy architecture of Roman buildings- a vaulted roof system similar to those in the Gate 1 and shops was considered appropriate for such a large volume mosque in the valley, and the mosque (then the masjid) was built on the ground. However, the aqueduct which was apparently carried by arches and the valley section where the Gateway 1 was located have demolished long before and did not survive to the present day. Since currently remaining parts do not have any support, they are at the risk of collapsing any moment.