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Two Thousand Years in Dendi, Northern Benin

Archaeology, History and Memory

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Edited by Anne Haour

In Two Thousand Years in Dendi, Northern Benin an international team examines a little-known part of the Niger River valley, West Africa, over the longue durée. This area, known as Dendi, has often been portrayed as the crossroads of major West African medieval empires but this understanding has been based on a small number of very patchy historical sources. Working from the ground up, from the archaeological sites, standing remains, oral traditions and craft industries of Dendi, Haour and her team offer the first in-depth account of the area.

Contributors are: Paul Adderley, Mardjoua Barpougouni, Victor Brunfaut, Louis Champion, Annalisa Christie, Barbara Eichhorn, Anne Filippini, Dorian Fuller, Olivier Gosselain, David Kay, Nadia Khalaf, Nestor Labiyi, Raoul Laibi, Richard Lee, Veerle Linseele, Alexandre Livingstone Smith, Carlos Magnavita, Sonja Magnavita, Didier N'Dah, Nicolas Nikis, Sam Nixon, Franck N’Po Takpara, Jean-François Pinet, Ronika Power, Caroline Robion-Brunner, Lucie Smolderen, Abubakar Sule Sani, Romuald Tchibozo, Jennifer Wexler, Wim Wouters.

Earthen Architecture in Muslim Cultures

Historical and Anthropological Perspectives

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Edited by Stéphane Pradines

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.

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Edited by Gülru Necipoğlu and Maria J. Metzler

Muqarnas 34 features articles ranging from monumental architecture in seventh-century Jerusalem to modern Arab painting in Syria. It includes an archaeological study of the Agdal in Marrakesh, one of the few surviving medieval Islamic estates; as well as a fresh assessment of Ilkhanid polychrome stucco decoration in the Pir-i Bakran mausoleum. The volume contains several articles on interactions between Islamic and Christian societies as attested in architectural landscapes from the early modern period. One piece interprets an inscribed Renaissance gate at a Crimean palace; another provides a fascinating micro-history of Venetian merchants in Aleppo, who lived in commercial khans. Other highlights include an article exploring the impact of Shirazi poets and their tombs on the famous traveler, Pietro della Valle; and an investigation of the forgotten Galata New Mosque in Istanbul, built by the queen mother in 1698 to replace a prominent Catholic convent church following Ottoman military defeats.

The Notes and Sources section introduces several new texts, including a Neo-Latin poem that challenges recent modifications to the Alhambra’s iconic Fountain of Lions, and a hitherto undeciphered Persian chronogram poem, which sheds valuable light on the production sites of luster-painted ceramics in the Safavid period. Also featured is a sixteenth-century Arabic chronicle describing Ottoman construction projects in Mecca within the context of diplomatic relations between Istanbul and Gujarat.

May Schinasi

Through years of neglect, deliberate modernization, and the effect of decades of war, Kabul’s architectural history has virtually disappeared. By meticulous use of all available records including written works, photographs, films, and oral reminiscences, Kabul: A History 1773-1948 provides a remarkably complete and unsurpassed account of the city’s history as seen through its built environment, from the pleasure gardens of the 16th and 17th century Mughals to the efforts of the Saduza’i and Muhammadza’i rulers of the 18th-20th centuries to turn this one-time resort town into a thriving capital city at the center of a country of enormous diversity. Thoroughly documented and well-illustrated, the book reveals the rich cultural legacy of a city of global importance.

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Edited by Gülru Necipoğlu and Karen Leal

Muqarnas 33 contains articles that range chronologically and geographically from a study of architectural innovations in the early mosque under the Umayyads to an analysis of archaeological finds in medieval Armenia, the book culture of Bijapur, and a discussion of a nineteenth-century Muslim cemetery in Malta. Readers will also discover essays on, respectively, the influence of a Tabrizi workshop on Cairene architecture in the fourteenth century, and the brilliant ceramic tiles of the fifteenth-century Uzun Hasan Mosque in Tabriz, as well as the latest research on the coffeehouses of Safavid Isfahan and on the architectural patronage of Shah ʿAbbas. A study of a Timurid pilgrimage scroll in the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha and an essay on Bihari calligraphy round out the volume. The Notes and Sources section features a never-before-published treatise on the Sultan Ahmed Mosque in Istanbul. Muqarnas 33 includes articles by Heba Mostafa, Diana Isaac Bakhoum, Sandra Aube, David Roxburgh and Mounia Abudaya-Chehkhab, Eloïse Brac de la Perrière, Keelan Overton, Charles Melville, Farshid Emami, Conrad Thake, Ünver Rüstem, and Hans Barnard, Sneha Shah, Gregory E. Areshian, and Kym F. Faull.

Muqarnas: An Annual on the Visual Cultures of the Islamic World is sponsored by the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts.


Our Dogs, Our Selves

Dogs in Medieval and Early Modern Art, Literature, and Society

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Edited by Laura D. Gelfand

The ubiquity of references to dogs in medieval and early modern texts and images must at some level reflect their actual presence in those worlds, yet scholarly consideration of this material is rare and scattered across diverse sources. This volume addresses that gap, bringing together fifteen essays that examine the appearance, meaning, and significance of dogs in painting, sculpture, manuscripts, literature, and legal records of the period, reaching beyond Europe to include cultural material from medieval Japan and Islam. While primarily art historical in focus, the authors approach the subject from a range of disciplines and with varying methodology that ultimately reveals as much about dogs as about the societies in which they lived.
Contributors are Kathleen Ashley, Jane Carroll, Emily Cockayne, John Block Friedman, Karen M. Gerhart, Laura D. Gelfand, Craig A. Gibson, Walter S. Gibson, Nathan Hofer, Jane C. Long, Judith W. Mann, Sophie Oosterwijk, Elizabeth Carson Pastan, Donna L. Sadler, Alexa Sand, and Janet Snyder.

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Edited by Yuka Kadoi

In Arthur Upham Pope and A New Survey of Persian Art, fourteen scholars explore the legacy of Arthur Upham Pope (1881–1969) by tracing the formation of Persian art scholarship and connoisseurship during the twentieth century. Widely considered as a self-made scholar, curator, and entrepreneur, Pope was credited for establishing the basis of what we now categorize broadly as Persian art. His unrivalled professional achievement, together with his personal charisma, influenced the way in which many scholars and collectors worldwide came to understand the art, architecture and material culture of the Persian world. This ultimately resulted in the establishment of the aesthetic criteria for assessing the importance of cultural remains from modern-day Iran.

With contributions by Lindsay Allen, Sheila S. Blair, Jonathan M. Bloom, Talinn Grigor, Robert Hillenbrand, Yuka Kadoi, Sumru Belger Krody, Judith A. Lerner, Kimberly Masteller, Cornelia Montgomery, Bernard O’Kane, Keelan Overton, Laura Weinstein, and Donald Whitcomb.

Muqarnas 32

Gazing Otherwise: Modalities of Seeing In and Beyond the Lands of Islam

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Edited by Gülru Necipoğlu, Karen Leal, Olga Bush and Avinoam Shalem

Muqarnas: An Annual on the Visual Cultures of the Islamic World is sponsored by the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Muqarnas 32, subtitled “Gazing Otherwise: Modalities of Seeing In and Beyond the Lands of Islam” and guest edited by Olga Bush and Avinoam Shalem, is the outcome of a two-day conference (“Gazing Otherwise: Modalities of Seeing”) held at the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florence in October 2012. Along with introductions by each of the guest editors, the volume contains ten articles that examine the gaze and the aesthetic experience of the beholder as they are constructed, depicted, and theorized within the culture-specific frameworks pertinent to the field of Islamic studies, through approaches developed in the fields of art history, visual culture, and anthropology.

Authors include Samer Akkach, Olga Bush, Holly Edwards, Emine Fetvacı, Laura U. Marks, Gülru Necipoğlu, D. Fairchild Ruggles, Matthew D. Saba, Avinoam Shalem, and Eva-Maria Troelenberg.

Edited by Luke Lavan and Michael Mulryan

Archaeologists working on late antique sites have not spent enough time thinking about methodology. Their focus has been on recovering and cataloguing evidence, or on the study of specific historical problems. Digging has often been more important than publishing, which has rarely extended beyond the basic summaries found in preliminary reports. The re-emergence of clearance excavation, fuelled by the demands of tourism, has further reduced the value of urban excavations in the East Mediterranean. Here, late antique levels have suffered, in the hunt for photogenic early imperial architecture. This volume attempts to address this situation by offering a critique of present practice and a series of exemplars, alongside discussion articles on field technique and post-excavation analysis. The articles ranges from urban survey to the study of finds. The book also considers if we need to develop specific field methods appropriate to the study of late antiquity.

Contributors are John Bintliff, Jeremy Evans, Axel Gering, Stefan Groh, Yoshiki Hori, Nikolaos D. Karydis, Veli Köse, Luke Lavan, Zsolt Magyar, Philip Mills, John Pearce, Steve Roskams, Helga Sedlmayer, Ellen Swift, Itamar Taxel, Douglas Underwood, Lutgarde Vandeput and Joe Williams.

Local Economies?

Production and Exchange of Inland Regions in Late Antiquity

Edited by Luke Lavan

The Roman economy was operated significantly above subsistence level, with production being stimulated by both taxation and trade. Some regions became wealthy on the basis of exporting low-value agricultural products across the Mediterranean. In contrast, it has usually been assumed that the high costs of land transport kept inland regions relatively poor. This volume challenges these assumptions by presenting new research on production and exchange within inland regions. The papers, supported by detailed bibliographic essays, range from Britain to Jordan. They reveal robust agricultural economies in many interior regions. Here, some wealth did come from high value products, which could defy transport costs. However, ceramics also indicate local exchange systems, capable of generating wealth without being integrated into inter-regional trading networks. The role of the State in generating production and exchange is visible, but often co-existed with local market systems.
Contributors are Alyssa A. Bandow, Fanny Bessard, Michel Bonifay, Kim Bowes, Stefano Costa, Jeremy Evans, Elizabeth Fentress, Piroska Hárshegyi, Adam Izdebski, Luke Lavan, Tamara Lewit, Phil Mills, Katalin Ottományi, Peter Sarris, Emanuele Vaccaro, Agnès Vokaer, Mark Whittow and Andrea Zerbini.