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 المرّ / المحمودية
Name meaning "The passage".[1]
Also spelled Molendina desubter Mirabellum
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
Palestine grid 142/168
Population 170[2][3] (1945)
Area 51[3] dunams
Date of depopulation February or March, 1948[4]
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.[5]

History[edit]

A mill and dam built at this site in late Roman/early Byzantine period were repaired in Crusader times. The mill was mentioned in Crusader sources in 1158/9 C.E.[6]

Excavations of the mill have recovered several 14th-century coins, which indicate that it was in use in the Mamluk period.[7]

Ottoman era[edit]

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".[5]

An Ottoman village list of about 1870 indicated 30 houses and a population of 69, though the population count included men only.[8][9]

The Palestine Exploration Fund's Survey of Western Palestine in 1882 described al-Mirr as "a small mud village, with mill close to the river."[10]

British Mandate era[edit]

During the British Mandate for Palestine, the population was recorded as 75 Muslims in the 1922 census,[11] and the village was classified as a hamlet in the Palestine Index Gazetteer.[5] In the 1931 census Mahmudiya had 101 inhabitants, still all Muslims, in 25 houses.[12]

In 1945 the population numbered 170 Muslims,[2] who 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.[5][13] 2 dunams were classified as built-up areas.[14]

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.[15] According to Benny Morris, some of the inhabitants returned on February 15, but fled for the final time one month later.[15] 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.[16] The 13 May attack would have occurred around the same time as an attack into the area by Irgun.[5]

The remains of a Turkish bridge lies where the village was.[5]

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.[17] 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.[17]

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 Department of Statistics, 1945, p. 27
  3. ^ a b Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 52
  4. ^ Morris, 2004, p. xviii, village #199. Also gives cause of depopulation
  5. ^ a b c d e f Khalidi, 1992, p.250.
  6. ^ Röhricht, 1893, RRH No 330; cited in Pringle, 1997, p. 72
  7. ^ Shkolnik, 1994, p32. Cited in Petersen, 2001, p. 222
  8. ^ Socin, 1879, p. 157
  9. ^ Hartmann, 1883, p. 137, noted 26 houses
  10. ^ Conder and Kitchener, 1882, II:252
  11. ^ Barron, 1923, Table VII, Sub-district of Jaffa, p. 20
  12. ^ Mills, 1932, p. 14
  13. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 96
  14. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 146
  15. ^ a b Morris, 2004, p. 129
  16. ^ 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
  17. ^ a b Petersen, 2001, p. 222-223

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]