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South Lebanon

Ayta ash Shab

In 1596, it was named as a town, ‘Ayta Bani Salman in the Ottoman nahiya (subdistrict) of Tibnin under the liwa’ (area) of Safad, with a populace of 5 Muslim families. The resIn 1596, it was named as a village, ‘Ayta Bani Salman in the Ottoman nahiya (subdistrict) of Tibnin under the Liwa’ (district) of Safad, with a population of 5 Muslim households. The villagers paid a fixed tax of 25% on agricultural products, such as wheat, barley, goats, and beehives, in addition to “occasional revenues”; a total of 930 akçe.

In 1875 Victor Guérin noted: “The village has taken the place of a small town surrounded by a wall, of which some remains still exist in well-cut stones and a fort measuring forty paces long by twenty-five broad. Beneath this building lies a large cistern vaulted with circular arches, and built of regularly cut stones. It is covered by a platform, on part of which has been built, later on, a little mosque, now falling into ruins. Here one may remark columns which come from an older building, the site of which is marked by a mass of blocks regularly cut, and by mutilated shafts lying upon the ground.
Below the village, the upper slopes of the hill are cultivated in terraces, and planted with vines, fig-trees, pomegranates, olives, and filberts. Here I found several cisterns, a great sepulchral cave, ornamented with arched arcosolia, each surmounting two sarcophagi, contiguous and parallel, a press with two compartments, one square and the other circular, the whole cut in the living rock.
Ascending towards the east, I passed beside an ancient pool half cut in the rock and half built. Not far is an old evergreen oak, one of the most remarkable that I have seen in Palestine, to which the inhabitants offer a kind of worship. It is protected by a little wall which supports the venerable trunk.”idents paid a fixed duty of 25% on farming items, for example, wheat, grain, goats and bee sanctuaries, notwithstanding “intermittent incomes”; a sum of 930 akçe.[2][3]

In 1875 Victor Guérin noticed: “The town has replaced a humble community encircled by a divider, of which some remaining parts actually exist in all around cut stones and a fortress estimating forty movements in length by 25 wide. Underneath this structure lies a huge reservoir vaulted with round curves, and worked of consistently cut stones. It is secured by a stage, on part of which has been assembled, later on, a little mosque, presently falling into ruins. Here one may comment sections which originate from a more established structure, the site of which is set apart by a mass of squares consistently cut, and by mangled shafts lying upon the ground.

Underneath the town, the upper slants of the slope are developed in patios, and planted with plants, fig-trees, pomegranates, olives, and filberts. Here I found a few reservoirs, an incredible sepulchral cavern, ornamented with curved arcosolia, each overcoming two stone caskets, coterminous and equal, a press with two compartments, one square and the other round, the entire cut in the living stone.

Rising towards the east, I went next to an old pool half cut in the stone and half fabricated. Not far is an old evergreen oak, one of the most striking that I have found in Palestine, to which the occupants offer a sort of love. It is ensured by a little divider which bolsters the revered trunk.”