The archaeology of regional muslim pilgrimage reevaluated: The site of nabi rubin (Israel) as a case study

Itamar Taxel, Avraham Avi Sasson, Moshe Fischer, Nitzan Amitai-Preiss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This research constitutes a first attempt to discuss a Muslim pilgrimage site from a holistic, in-depth archaeological perspective. Our case study is Nabi Rubin, on the southern coastal plain of Israel, which was active from at least the early 15th century until the late British Mandate period and was one of the major foci of Muslim pilgrimage in historical Palestine. Pilgrimage to Nabi Rubin was characterized by a one-month-long organized celebration that took place every summer and attracted masses of pilgrims from Jaffa in the north to Gaza in the south. The research uses the site’s architectural and other humancreated and natural landscape features-including historical trees and the rich material culture remnants left behind by pilgrims and other visitors, in addition to the written and photographic historical evidence related to Nabi Rubin-in order to draw additional information that can assist in interpreting the mute physical elements. The study provides a synthesis and interpretation of the site’s chronology, material culture, the activities and behaviors that took place there during festival periods, and methodological aspects of the interpretation of historical trees. The results highlight the uniqueness of Nabi Rubin compared to other Muslim pilgrimage sites in Palestine, and its significant potential for an archaeological research of Muslim pilgrimage in the region.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-282
Number of pages282
JournalBulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 2021


  • And British Mandate periods
  • Archaeology of pilgrimage
  • Mamluk
  • Muslim pilgrimage
  • Nabi Rubin
  • Ottoman
  • Palestine
  • Saint tombs


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