Shops on the Gateway to the Citadel


Massive rocks weighing thousands of tons that fell on the Gateway Valley to the south of the Şâb Mosque group of buildings were broken and removed during 2006 – 2007 campaign, yielding 52 stores, an ancient gateway and workshops carved into the rocks . In addition, a stone-paved Ayyubid Road, which is known to have been used until the Late Ottoman Period was unearthed and repaired. Thus, access to the castle through the original road from the first entrance gate starting from the Rızk Mosque to the second gate became possible again. The standing remains of the shops which were modified several times during the Roman, Artuqid, Ayyubid and Ottoman Periods were strenghtened by simple repair to make them again part of the historical texture .

It appears that the road starting from the Roman Period gate to the south of the Er-Rızk Mosque up to the “Lions Gate” from the Ayyubid Dynasty Period was built by carving a massive rock during the Ancient Period, and it continued to have served during later periods including the Roman Period. The ancient road to the citadel which extends in the north-south direction starting from the west of the Şâb Mosque up to the shop no. DK-52 is 120 m long.

During the Roman Period, closed sections (shops) were built with regular cutstones on top of the workshops carved into the bedrock during the Ancient Period and used for activities such as grape press, wheat grinding or dough kneading. Those shops were repaired, and rearranged during the Medieval Age for further functioning with some additions. Other shops were rearranged during the Artuqid, Ayyubid and Ottoman Periods.

The Medieval Age shops has an irregular rectangular plan in general. The floors were paved with stones, and plastered with cas mortar while rubble stones, regular cutstones and gathered material were used for walls. The walls were plastered with cas mortar. Barrel vaults were used for top covers. The shops have been damaged to a great extent by the rocks falling from the bedrock.