The fortification of Zalabiyeh is recorded by Procopius who attributes the building of the defences to Justinian's reign. As with much of Procopius' testimony this claim must not be accepted out of hand. The remains of the defences show evidence of at least two major phases of building. The oldest phase is composed of ashlar faced walls with a rubble and concrete core, the later phase is made up of ashlars throughout. The later phase appears to have been only present in some of the towers and is certainly part of a renovation of the defences where some of the older towers needing replacing. These two different wall building techniques are mirrored across the river at the fortifications of Halabiyeh, Zalabiyeh's sister site. I have proposed that the site was not originally fortified by Justinian but was rather repaired during his reign and had older origins, potentially during the reign of Anastasius.
Date of Visit
1st to 24th August 2010
4th August 2010
Metadata and all media released under Creative Commons unless otherwise indicated
Joshua Bryant, “Fortifications, Zalabiyeh,” Architecture and Asceticism, accessed December 3, 2023, https://architectureandasceticism.exeter.ac.uk/items/show/259.