Khirbat al-Tannur

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Khirbat al-Tannur
Operation Ha-Har.jpg
Khirbat al-Tannur is located in Mandatory Palestine
Khirbat al-Tannur
Khirbat al-Tannur
Arabic خربة التنور
Name meaning "The lower Allar"[1]
Subdistrict Jerusalem
Coordinates 31°42′50″N 35°02′50″E / 31.71389°N 35.04722°E / 31.71389; 35.04722Coordinates: 31°42′50″N 35°02′50″E / 31.71389°N 35.04722°E / 31.71389; 35.04722
Palestine grid 154/124
Population 400 (19th century)
Date of depopulation October 21, 1948
Current localities Mata[2]
Not to be confused with Khirbet et-Tannur, the Nabatean temple site in Jordan

Khirbat al-Tannur (Arabic: خربة التنور‎‎), also Allar al-Sifla ("Lower Allar"),[3] was a Palestinian Arab hamlet in the Jerusalem Subdistrict, near Allar. It was depopulated during the 1948 Arab–Israeli War on October 21, 1948 under Operation Ha-Har. It was located 18.5 km west of Jerusalem.


Ein Tanur ("Oven Spring") is a spring enhanced by an ancient tunnel dug deeply to catch the water at the source and increase its flow - a so-called spring-flow tunnel.[4] According to a legend recounted by the mukhtar of Allar, Noah's oven was located here before the flood. When God destroyed the world, Noah's oven began spouting water, proving Noah's great commitment to God. When the flood was over and the water subsided, the oven forgot its original purpose and water continued to flow from it. When Noah passed by in his ark, he only saw the spring rather than his oven, so he continued his journey and finally landed on Mount Ararat.[5]

In the 12th century, during the Crusader era, a rural monastery was established consisting of several barrel-vaulted buildings, an enclosure wall and a chapel.[6] British archaeologist Denys Pringle proposed that the complex was a known Cistercian house called "Saluatio" established in 1169.[7]

In the 13th century it was recorded in two documents that income from the village supported the school al-Mu'azzamiyya ("مدارس"), north of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.[8]

Ottoman era[edit]

Khirbat al-Tannur was incorporated into the Ottoman Empire in 1517 with all of Palestine, and in 1596 it appeared in the tax registers under the name of 'Allar as-Sufla in the Nahiya of Jerusalem in the Liwa of Jerusalem ("القدس"), with a population of 7 Muslim households. They paid a fixed tax-rate of 33,3 % on wheat, barley, summer crops and olives, a total of 3,150 Akçe. All of the revenue went to a Waqf.[9]

A visitor in 1875 wrote that it had a population of 400, but soon afterwards it was apparently abandoned until the 20th century.[2]

British Mandate era[edit]

In the late Mandate period it was classified as a hamlet.[2]

Six Arab families from Bayt 'Itab who settled amid the Crusader ruins were involved in a long-standing feud with Allar villagers over water use, land ownership and grazing routes, which only ended in 1948 when both places were depopulated.[5]

1948 and aftermath[edit]

When the site was inspected in 1992, there were ten houses of which six had been destroyed.[2] The village land was amalgamated with that of Allar, and the settlement closest to Khirbat al-Tannur was Mata[2]


  1. ^ Palmer, 1881, p. 283
  2. ^ a b c d e Khalidi, 1992, p. 320
  3. ^ Petersen, 2001, p. 92
  4. ^ Ein Mata, Horbat Hanut and Shevil HaKeisar
  5. ^ a b The oven that became a spring
  6. ^ Crusader Archaeology: The Material Culture of the Latin East, Adrian J. Boas
  7. ^ Pringle, 1993, pp. 47 –51
  8. ^ Mahmoud K. Hawari (2007). Ayyubid Jerusalem (1187-1250). BAR International Series 1628. p. 147. 
  9. ^ Hütteroth and Abdulfattah, 1977, p. 112


External links[edit]