Mosque Name: Kharāb Sayyār

Country: Syria

City: Sayyār

Year of construction 185 AH

Year of construction: 801 CE

GPS: 36.589464 39.561229

Gibson Classification: Mecca

Rebuilt facing Mecca: Never


Kharab Sayyar is a small urban centre that gained importance as a fortification along the Byzantine border in the late 3rd century AH / late 9th–early 10th century CE). It is surrounded by a quadrangular city wall and it includes a mosque, a hammam (bath house) and private houses. The houses are sumptuously decorated with carved stucco wall panels showing an abundant range of decorative themes. The patterns display very close ties to the famous stuccoes from Samarra and testify to the influence of the Abbasid heartland in this region

Since 1998, archaeological investigations have been conducted at regular intervals in the small Syrian village of Kharab Sayyar. The excavations are part of a regional project which also includes the excavations at Tell Chuera and a survey in the surroundings. The project is carried out on behalf of the Goethe University, Frankfurt, in cooperation with the Syrian Directorate General of Antiquities and Museums, and with the Deutsche Orient Gesellschaft (DOG).

The city from above.

The city from above.

Mosque stuccoes

Mosque stuccoes

Mosque stuccoes

Mosque stuccoes

Drawing of the mosque

Drawing of the mosque


Meyer, Jan Waalke, Mussa, Imad, and Michael Würz, 2008. “Compte rendu des 6ème et 9ème campagnes de fouilles 2004-2007 à Kharab Sayyar”, Chronique Archéologique en Syrie 3: 269-275.

Meyer, Jan-Waalke, Mussa, Imad, and Michael Würz, 2010. “Report about the 11th Excavation Campaign 2008 at Kharab Sayyar”, Chronique Archéologique en Syrie 4: 321-327.

Koppel, Angela, 2020. Die Stuckarbeiten aus Kharab Sayyar: Das Große Haus und die Moschee, Ausgrabungen in Kharab Sayyar 4, Wiesbaden: Reichert Verlag.

Moortgat-Correns, Ursula, 1994. Charāb Sējār: Eine frühabbasidische Ruinenstätte in Nordmesopotamien, Berlin: Gebr. Mann.

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