Bundles of dried papyrus being loaded onto a lorry. Mallaha, circa 1936.
|Name meaning||"the salty site"|
|Date of depopulation||25 May 1948|
|Cause(s) of depopulation||Whispering campaign|
Mallaha (Arabic: ملاّحة) was a Palestinian Arab village, located 16 kilometers (9.9 mi) northeast of Safed, on the highway between the latter and Tiberias. 'Ain Mallaha is the local Arabic name for a spring that served as the water source for the village inhabitants throughout the ages. It is also one of the names used in English to refer to the ancient Natufian era settlement at the site.
Evidence of settlement at Mallaha (or 'Ain Mallaha) dates back to the Mesolithic period circa 10,000 BCE. The first permanent village settlement of pre-agricultural times in Palestine, Kathleen Kenyon describes the material remains found there as Natufian, consisting of 50 circular, semi-subterranean, one-room huts, paved with flat slabs and surrounded by stone walls up to 1.2 meters (3.9 ft) high. The floors and walls of the homes were decorated in solid white or red, a simple and popular decorative motif in the Near East at the time. The inhabitants appear to have subsisted on fish from nearby Lake Hula, as well as by hunting and gathering, though no evidence of animal domestication or cultivation has been found.
During the Crusader era, the Franks referred to Mallaha as Merla. Ibn al-Qalanisi describes a battle that took place at Mallaha in June 1157 between the Arab and Turkish forces of Nur ad-Din Zangi and those of the Crusaders under King Baldwin III. Qalanisi writes that Nur ad-Din sent his troops to Mallaha immediately after learning via pigeon post that the Franks had set up an encampment there. The battle, as described by Qalanisi, was bloody and quick, resulting in decisive victory for the Muslim forces, who are reported to have lost only two men, with the king narrowly escaping with a bodyguard. The battles for control over Mallaha continued. The Itinerary of Richard I notes that the army had advanced to Merla, "where the king had spent one of the previous nights."
Mallaha, like most of Palestine, was incorporated into the Ottoman Empire in the early sixteenth century. Sufi traveler al-Bakri al-Siddiqi passed by the village in the mid-eighteenth century. In 1838, Edward Robinson (scholar) observed that Mallaha lay northwest of Lake Hula.
In a census conducted in 1922 by the British Mandate authorities, Mallaha had a population of 440, all Muslims, increasing in the 1931 census to a population of 654, still all Muslims, in 161 houses.
1948, and after
According to the Palestinian historian Walid Khalidi, describing the remains of the village in 1992: "The sandy hill on which the village was situated is completely overgrown with tall grass, cactuses, and weeds, as well as an assortment of fig, eucalyptus, and date-palm trees. Amidst the overgrowth, stone rubble from destroyed houses can be seen. The surrounding land is cultivated by the settlement of Yesud ha-Ma'ala.
A village history was published in Damascus in 2005. According to a commentator on Palestinian village history, dr. Davis, this history is especially notable due to the prominent role women are given in describing village life. Davis believes this might be because the villagers belonged to the Ghawarneh group, where women traditionally took more prominent roles.
- List of Arab towns and villages depopulated during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War
- Morris, 2004, xvi, village #28. Also provides cause of depopulation.
- Welcome to Mallaha, Palestine Remembered, retrieved 2008-12-22
- Khalidi, 1992, p.472.
- Schmandt-Besserat, 2007, p. 47.
- Kenyon, 1985, p. 20.
- Kipfer, 2000, p. 381.
- Edwards et al., 1970, p. 499.
- Lyon and Jackson, 1984, p. 430.
- Gabrieli, 1969, pp. 66-7.
- Maalouf, 1987, pp.143-158 cited in Khalidi, 1992, p.472.
- Dabbagh, pp.165-166 cited in Khalidi, 1992, p.472.
- Robinson, 1841, p.341
- J. B. Barron, ed. (1923). Palestine: Report and General Abstracts of the Census of 1922. Government of Palestine. Table XI, Sub-district of Safad, p. 42.
- Mills, 1932, p. 108
- Morris, Benny (1987) The birth of the Palestinian refugee problem, 1947-1949. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-33028-9. p.123.
- 'Abd al-'Aal, 2005: Judhur wa furu' Filastiniyya min al-Mallaha
- Davis, 2011, p. 108
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mallaha.|
- 'Abd al-'Aal, Yusif 'Ali (2005). Judhur wa furu' Filastiniyya min al-Mallaha [Palestinian roots and branches from Mallala]. Damascus, Syria: Dar al-Umma lil-Tiba' wal-Nashr wal-Tawzi'.
- Barron, J. B., ed. (1923). Palestine: Report and General Abstracts of the Census of 1922. Government of Palestine.
- Davis, Rochelle A. (2011). Palestinian Village Histories. Geography of the displaced. Stanford University Press, Stanford, California. ISBN 978-0-8047-7312-6.
- Edwards, Iorwerth Eiddon Stephen; Gadd, Cyril John; Hammond, Nicholas Geoffrey Lemprière; Boardman, John (1970). The Cambridge Ancient History: Prolegomena and Prehistory, Vol 1/Part 1. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-07051-1.
- Gabrieli, Francesco (1969). Arab Historians of the Crusades. University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-05224-2.
- Hadawi, Sami (1970). Village Statistics of 1945: A Classification of Land and Area ownership in Palestine. Palestine Liberation Organization Research Center.
- Kenyon, Kathleen (1985). Archaeology in the Holy Land. Taylor & Francis. ISBN 0-416-36490-X.
- Khalidi, Walid (1992). All That Remains. Washington D.C.: Institute for Palestine Studies. ISBN 0-88728-224-5.
- Kipfer, Barbara Ann (2000). Encyclopedic Dictionary of Archaeology. Springer. ISBN 0-306-46158-7.
- Lyons, Malcolm Cameron; Jackson, David Edward Pritchett (1984). Saladin: The Politics of the Holy War. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-31739-8.
- Mills, E., ed. (1932). Census of Palestine 1931. Population of Villages, Towns and Administrative Areas. Jerusalem: Government of Palestine.
- Morris, Benny (2004). The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem Revisited. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-00967-7.
- Pringle, Denys (1997). Secular buildings in the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem: an archaeological Gazetter. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0521 46010 7. (p. 109)
- Robinson, Edward; Smith, Eli (1841). Biblical Researches in Palestine, Mount Sinai and Arabia Petraea: A Journal of Travels in the year 1838 3. Boston: Crocker & Brewster.
- Schmandt-Besserat, Denise (2007). When Writing Met Art: From Symbol to Story. University of Texas Press. ISBN 0-292-71334-7.