Al-Mirr

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Al-Mirr
Yarkon-47-mill.jpg
Remains of Mill building
Al-Mirr is located in Mandatory Palestine
Al-Mirr
Al-Mirr
Arabic
Name meaning "The passage".[1]
Subdistrict Jaffa
Coordinates 32°06′43″N 34°54′57″E / 32.11194°N 34.91583°E / 32.11194; 34.91583Coordinates: 32°06′43″N 34°54′57″E / 32.11194°N 34.91583°E / 32.11194; 34.91583
Population 170[2] (1945)
Area 51[2] dunams
Date of depopulation February or March, 1948[3]
Cause(s) of depopulation Fear of being caught up in the fighting

Al-Mirr, also named Mahmudiyeh ("the property of Mahmud"),[1] was a Palestinian Arab village in the Jaffa Subdistrict, which was depopulated during the 1947–1948 Civil War in Mandatory Palestine on February 1, 1948.

Location[edit]

The village was located 16.5 kilometers (10.3 mi) northeast of Jaffa, on the southern bank of the al-'Awja river. A short, secondary track linked it to the railway line running between Ras al-Ayn and Petah Tikva.[4]

History[edit]

A mill and dam built at this site in late Roman/early Byzantine period were repaired in Crusader times and some of the remains of both can still be seen.[5]

Excavations of the mill have recovered several 14th-century coins, which indicate that it was in use in the Mamluk period.[6]

The modern village was founded during the reign of the Mahmud II (1808–39), the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, and was also known as "Al Mahmudiyya".[4] In the late 19th century, al-Mirr was described as "a small mud village, with mill close to the river."[7]

During the British Mandate for Palestine, the population was recorded as 75 Muslims in 1922,[8] and the village was classified as a hamlet in the Palestine Index Gazetteer.[4]

In 1945 the population numbered 170, and worked in agriculture and with transportation. Cultivated lands in the village in 1944-45 included 2 dunums planted with citrus and bananas, and 31 dunums planted with cereals.[4][9]

1948, and aftermath[edit]

Before the outbreak of the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, al-Mirr's inhabitants left on February 3, 1948 out of fear of Jewish attack.[10] According to Benny Morris, some of the inhabitants returned on February 15, but fled for the final time one month later.[10] However, according to Walid Khalidi, citing the New York Times, the villagers apparently returned yet again, as Jewish forces attacked the village in mid-May.[11] The 13 May attack would have occurred around the same time as an attack into the area by Irgun.[4]

The remains of a Turkish bridge lies where the village was.[4]

Andrew Petersen, an archaeologist specializing in Islamic architecture, visited the mill in 1991. He found that it had probably been built in several phases. Presently, it consists of a rectangular building, 60 m. NS x 10 m EW, on two levels.[12] At the lower level are at least 13 parallel water inlets. These inlets are of two different types, (indicating different construction date); a flat slab roof, and pointed vaulted roof. Between the two levels are holes in the floor, presumably this is where the millstones were connected to the turbines.[12]

See also[edit]

Old mill of Al-Mirr, presently in Yarkon-Tel Afek Park
 
 
 

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Palmer, 1881, p.216
  2. ^ a b Hadawi, 1970, p.52
  3. ^ Morris, 2004, p. xviii village #199. Also gives cause of depopulation
  4. ^ a b c d e f Khalidi, 1992, p.250.
  5. ^ Pringle, 1997, p. 72
  6. ^ Shkolnik, 1994, p32. Cited in Petersen, 2001, p. 222
  7. ^ Conder and Kitchener, 1882, II:252
  8. ^ Barron, 1923, Table VII
  9. ^ Hadawi, 1970, p.96
  10. ^ a b Morris, 2004, p. 129.
  11. ^ Khalidi, 1992, p. 250, citing the New York Times, 13.05.1948 and 13.05.1948. The NYT statement is based on British Army statement, which, according to Khalidi, incorrectly refers to the village of Antipatris
  12. ^ a b Petersen, 2001, p. 222-223

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]