The Arabic inscription. Courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority.
Israeli archaeologists have discovered the first ever Arabic Crusader inscription, they announced on Monday.
The epigraphic evidence emerged from a 800-year-old inscribed marble slab which originally sat in Jaffa's city wall.
Bearing the name of the "Holy Roman Emperor" Frederick II, and the date "1229 of the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus the Messiah," the inscription was found broken on the top, right, left and bottom.
"The script is peculiar but once the slab was reassembled, it was deciphered with little effort," Moshe Sharon, of Hebrew University, told Discovery News.
According to Sharon and colleague Ami Shrager, the inscription was drafted by Frederick's officials, or possibly even the emperor himself, who was fluent in Arabic.
"Muslim scholars attended Frederick's court in Sicily, where his main royal palace was located. There, he also had a harem that included a Muslim concubine," Sharon said.
The grandson of both Frederick Barbarossa and Roger II of Sicily, Frederick II (1194- 1250) was the Christian king who led the Sixth Crusade of 1228-1229.