Fiq, Syria

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Fiq (Arabic: فيق‎) is a former Syrian town administratively belonging to Al Quneitra Governorate, located in the Golan Heights.[1] Residing at an altitude of 349 meters (1,145 ft), the Israeli settlement, Kibbutz Afik, was built close by.[1]

Ruins in Fiq.

History[edit]

Fiq was an ancient town, covering about 100 dunams on an artificial mound. Many inscriptions in Latin and Greek have been found.[2]

Fiq was located on one of the few routes connecting the Galilee and the Golan Heights, all part of the very important network of roads between Egypt and Syria. The lower part of the road followed the "Ascent of Fiq" (Arabic: 'Aqabat Fiq) where the Ayyubids built a khan in the early 13th century, Khan al-'Aqabah, whose ruins are still visible. Once it reached the plateau, the road passed through different villages, the branch going through Fiq leading eastwards to the Hauran region rather than northeastwards to Damascus.[3]

Around 1225, Yakut noted that the convent of Dayr Fiq was much venerated by Christians, and still frequented by travellers.[4]

In 1596 Fiq appeared in the Ottoman tax registers as part of the nahiya of Jawlan Garbi in the Qada of Hauran. It had an entirely Muslim population consisting of 16 households and 9 bachelors. Taxes were paid on wheat, barley, summer crops, olive trees, goats and/or beehives.[5]

In 1875 the French explorer Victor Guérin found that Fiq was divided into four quarters, each administered by its own sheik. Most of the homes contained remnants of ancient buildings. The village had abundant of fresh water.[6]

When Gottlieb Schumacher surveyed the area in the 1880s, he described Fiq as a large village with about 400 people. It had around 160 "tolerably" well-built stone houses, but only 90 of those were inhabited.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Urman 1998, p. 578
  2. ^ Dauphin, 1998, p. 722
  3. ^ Moshe Sharon (2004). Corpus Inscriptionum Arabicarum Palaestinae. Brill Academic Publ. p. 217. ISBN 978-9004131972. 
  4. ^ le Strange, 1890, p. 429
  5. ^ Hütteroth and Abdulfattah, 1977, p. 196.
  6. ^ Guérin, 1880, pp 314-5 ff
  7. ^ Schumacher, 1888, p. 136-7 ff

Bibliography[edit]

Coordinates: 32°46′N 35°42′E / 32.767°N 35.700°E / 32.767; 35.700