Resources & Publications

  • Book

    Alessandra Bagnera, The Ghaznavid Mosque and the Islamic Settlement at Mt. Raja Gira, Udegram

    The archaeological excavations carried out on the northern slopes of Mount Rāja Gīrā near Udegram, in the Swat valley, represent one of the most recent projects of the Italian Archaeological Mission in Pakistan before the forced interruption of the activities in 2007. Under the direction of the late Umberto Scerrato, five campaigns were carried out between 1985 and 1996 by the research team working on the Archaeology and History of Islamic Art. 


    The result of the work was the identification of a very interesting pluri-stratified context featuring an Islamic occupation dating from the 11th to the 13th-14th centuries and almost overlapping two main pre-Islamic phases, the later one dated to the 8th-10th centuries and the earlier one dating from the 1st/2nd-4th centuries. A Ghaznavid congregational mosque was unearthed, to which some housing facilities and a small cemetery of Muslim rite were also linked.            


    A strong local tradition links the Muslim conquest of this region to the numerous expeditions made by Maḥmūd of Ghazna to the Indo-Pakistan sub-continent, an event that has been hitherto considered as not recorded in the historical and literary sources. Although the matter can be reconsidered in the light of some new elements (see Chapters IV and V), the site unearthed on the slopes of Mt. Rāja Gīrā positively proves the existence of a true early Muslim occupation of this area. The major feature of this is the Ghaznavid congregational mosque, the earliest one dated in North Pakistan, and the third in the whole nation after those of Banbhore (8th century) and Mansura (9th century) in Sind. Many other data gathered from the excavations add precious information about the Ghaznavid occupation of the area, the Islamization processes that followed the conquest and the possible role played by Udegram in the political and administrative re-organization of the region. At the same time, the subsequent phases identified at the site document with new archaeological evidence some events so far recorded only by the sources. This is the case, for example, of the Khwarizm Shahs’ presence in the region during the first decades of the 13th century.   


    Series: ACT-Field School Project Reports and Memoirs, V - Excavations and Conservation Activities in Swat District (2011-2013) Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa - Pakistan. 4
    Lahore, Sang-e-Meel Publications, 2015
    174 pages : illustrations (some color), maps ; 28 cm
    ISBN-10: 969-35-2880-8
    ISBN-13: 978-969-35-2880-0

  • Book

    Alessandra Bagnera and Annliese Nef (dir.), Les bains de Cefalà (Xe-XIXe siècle) : pratiques thermales d’origine islamique dans la Sicile médiévale

    The exceptional spa complex of Cefalà, built on a thermal spring and located 30 km South of Palermo, finds the first systematic and multidisciplinary study in this book. 

    The archaeological data collected during the excavations carried out in the years 1990 and 2000 and the new investigations, conducted since 2003 under the aegis of the Ecole française de Rome in collaboration with the Superintendency of Palermo, have allowed to specify the chronology of the baths and to clarify, for the first time, relations with the site in which they are located. Exploited from the tenth century in the context of Fatimid Sicily, the latter saw the construction of an articulate spa complex under the Kalbiti emirs (948-1040 approximately). Monumentalized by Roger II of Altavilla in the mid-twelfth century, the baths were then inserted from the fourteenth century in the context of a warehouse (fondacus); subject to significant changes in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries they have been frequented up to the twentieth century. The various transformations, including the gradual cancellation of the original Islamic context, reflect the changes in Sicilian society during the Middle Ages and the Modern Era, when the baths were rediscovered by scholars. The book summarizes the current knowledge on this testimony of the Islamic origins of a part of the thermal, but also architectural and more widely cultural, heritage of Sicily and sheds new light on the medieval history of the territory related to Palermo.

    Collection de l'École française de Rome 538

    Roma: École française de Rome, 2018

    ISBN: 978-2-7283-1250-4



  • Book

    Earthen Architecture in Muslim Cultures Historical and Anthropological Perspectives, ed. Stéphane Pradines

    Earthen Architecture in Muslim Cultures
    Historical and Anthropological Perspectives
    Stéphane Pradines, Editor
    Series: Arts and Archaeology of the Islamic World, Volume: 10
     
    This edited volume follows the panel “Earth in Islamic Architecture” organised for the World Congress for Middle Eastern Studies (WOCMES) in Ankara, on the 19th of August 2014. Earthen architecture is well-known among archaeologists and anthropologists whose work extends from Central Asia to Spain, including Africa. However, little collective attention has been paid to earthen architecture within Muslim cultures. This book endeavours to share knowledge and methods of different disciplines such as history, anthropology, archaeology and architecture. Its objective is to establish a link between historical and archaeological studies given that Muslim cultures cannot be dissociated from social history.

    Contributors: Marinella Arena; Mounia Chekhab-Abudaya; Christian Darles; François-Xavier Fauvelle; Elizabeth Golden; Moritz Kinzel; Rolando Melo da Rosa; Atri Hatef Naiemi; Bertrand Poissonnier; Stéphane Pradines; Paola Raffa and Paul D. Wordsworth.

    Publication Date:  
    11 September 2018
    ISBN:
    978-90-04-35633-7

  • Book

    Elizabeth A. Lambourn, Abraham's Luggage. A Social Life of Things in the Medieval Indian Ocean World

    From a single merchant's list of baggage begins a history that explores the dynamic world of medieval Indian Ocean exchanges. This fresh and innovative perspective on Jewish merchant activity shows how this list was a component of broader trade connections that developed between the Islamic Mediterranean and South Asia in the Middle Ages. Drawing on a close reading of this unique twelfth-century document, found in the Cairo Genizah and written in India by North African merchant Abraham Ben Yiju, Lambourn focuses on the domestic material culture and foods that structured the daily life of such India traders, on land and at sea. This is an exploration of the motivations and difficulties of maintaining homes away from home, and the compromises that inevitably ensued. Abraham's Luggagedemonstrates the potential for writing challenging new histories in the accidental survival of apparently ordinary ephemera.

    Table of Contents
    1. Introduction. A list of luggage from the Indian Ocean world
    2. From Ifriqiya to Malibarat – introducing Abraham Ben Yiju
    Part I. A Mediterranean Society in Malibarat:
    3. Making homes and friends: on shopping and suhba
    4. Making a meal of it: on food cultures
    5. A Jewish home: on ritual foods
    Part II. A Mediterranean Society at Sea:
    6. The 'simple' bare necessities: on water and rice
    7. 'Things for the cabin': inhabiting the ocean
    8. The balanced body: on vinegar and other sour foods
    9. From Malibarat to Misr and beyond – afterlives
    Appendix: Abraham's list of luggage.
     

    Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018

    ISBN 9781107173880

  • Book

    Humphrey Davies and Lesley Lababidi, A Field Guide to the Street Names of Central Cairo

    American University in Cairo Press, 2018 

    ISBN:978-977-416-856-7

  • Website

    Crossroads Aleppo: Our city, common heritage, our memory

    The aim of the Crossroads Aleppo project is to reach Aleppans in their mother tongue and to draw attention to the importance of the old town and its own cultural heritage as well as to lay the foundations for reconstruction. The first three monuments are now extensively documented in Arabic and English - including the famous Umayyad Mosque. Crossroads Aleppo allows a discussion around the understanding of the Old Town and its reconstruction. The documents directly support the local actors. Scientific documentations on the reconstruction on site are in many cases not accessible, or were looted. The project is part of the Syrian Heritage Archive Project (https://syrian-heritage.org/en/start/), located at the Museum of Islamic Art in the Pergamon Museum and has been funded by the Gerda Henkel Foundation since 2017. The next phase of 25 catalogue entries is in preparation.

  • Book

    Weaving the History: Mystery of a City, Sof

    Weaving the History: Mystery of a City, Sof exhibition explores the history of the Angora goat and its precious mohair and the premium, luxurious fabric called sof produced from the Angora goat’s brilliant unadulterated mohair yarn during the Ottoman Era. Sof production and mohair weaving once shaped the economy and social life of Ankara, especially in the 16th century ceased to an end in the 19th century and sof has become a forgotten value. This exhibition catalog documents the making of a research- based exhibition. Furthermore, it aims to become a reference book for researchers by compiling objects demonstrating the importance of the Angora goat and the usages of mohair together with presenting articles authored by researchers from various disciplines. 

    Prepared and edited by Filiz Yenişehirlioğlu

    ISBN: 978-605-9388-13-9

  • Book

    Nourane Ben Azzouna, Aux origines du classicisme: Calligraphes et bibliophiles au temps des dynasties mongoles (Les Ilkhanides et les Djalayirides, 656-814 / 1258-1411)

    Aux origines du classicisme. Calligraphes et bibliophiles au temps des dynasties mongoles explores a pivotal period in the history of the book in the Islamic world and Iran, i.e. the Mongol period viewed in a long-term perspective, under the Ilkhanid and the Djalayirid dynasties. It examines the issue of the maturation of classical Arabic calligraphy through the life and work of Yāqūt al-Mustaʿṣimī, which are for the first time subjected to a systematic analysis, highlighting the importance of his school and the Baghdadi masters for the arts of the book of the following decades. The study also looks at the manuscripts of the Muslim Ilkhans and the Vizier Rashīd al-Dīn in the context of the birth of the kitābkhānah and the rise in the status of calligraphers and painters under the last Ilkhanids and the Djalayirids.

    Publisher: BRILL 
    Series: Islamic Manuscripts and Books, Volume: 17
    ISBN: 978-90-04-36978-8


  • Book

    Mohamad Reza Ghiasian, Lives of the Prophets: The Illustrations to Hafiz-i Abru’s “Assembly of Chronicles”

    In Lives of the Prophets: The Illustrations to Hafiz-i Abru’s “Assembly of Chronicles” Mohamad Reza Ghiasian analyses two extant copies of the Majmaʿ al-tawarikh produced for the Timurid ruler Shahrukh (r. 1405–1447). The first manuscript is kept in Topkapı Palace and the second is widely dispersed. Codicological analysis of these manuscripts not only allows a better understanding of Hafiz-i Abru’s contributions to rewriting earlier history, but has served to identify the existence of a previously unrecognised copy of the Jamiʿ al-tawarikhproduced at Rashid al-Din’s scriptorium. Through a meticulous close reading of both text and image, Mohamad Reza Ghiasian convincingly proves that numerous paintings of the dispersed manuscript were painted over the text before its dispersal in the early twentieth century.

    Publisher: BRILL 
    Series: Studies in Persian Cultural History, Volume: 16
    Extent: xvi + 344 pp. 
    ISBN: 978-90-04-37722-6

  • Book

    Anna Contadini, ed., The Pisa Griffin and the Mari-Cha Lion. Metalwork, Art, and Technology in the Medieval Islamicate Mediterranean

    The Pisa Griffin and the Mari-Cha Lion. Metalwork, Art, and Technology in the Medieval Islamicate Mediterranean is an interdisciplinary study focusing on two unique bronze sculptures produced between the late eleventh and the early twelfth century. Through scientific, historical and art historical analyses it investigates the many issues that surround them, including fundamental questions of location and period, purpose and patronage, their transcultural meanings, and their agency as the function of each has mutated.

    By bringing related pieces into the discussion, this study seeks to change our understanding of medieval art and metal production in the Western Mediterranean and to highlight the significance of metalworking in Spain and South Italy. It shows how the relationship between these areas and the rest of the Mediterranean was marked by active exchanges of goods and artistic ideas during the period just prior to the development of the better-known Shirazi, Ayyubid and Mamluk inlaid metalwork.

    Pisa: Pacini Editore, 2018.

    Hard cover 28.5x25x3.5 cm, 544 pages, 374 colour photos and diagrams, €65. 



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