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  • Archaeology, Art & Architecture x

Michel Bonifay


Using ceramic evidence, this paper examines the differences between the supply of coastal and inland regions of Africa from the 4th to 7th c. A.D. While a narrow band of coastline across the Mediterranean seems to be fully integrated into a common system of consumption (e.g. importing overseas amphora and the principal African Red Slip (ARS) forms), most of the inland regions seem to be more impervious to non-regional products (e.g. no transport amphorae and mainly local ARS); this is a situation which is particularly obvious in the Algerian high plains. Nevertheless, an accurate analysis of the documentation allows us to discern some indications of inter-provincial contacts via ancient east-west terrestrial routes.


This article analyzes a group of Ottoman inserts added to the Shāhnāma-i Shāhī, the famous copy of Firdawsi’s Book of Kings made for the Safavid shah Tahmasp I. It is well known that this manuscript was given by Tahmasp to the Ottoman sultan Selim II in 1568 and remained in Istanbul for over three centuries, and yet almost no attention has been paid to this period of ownership. This neglect is all the more remarkable given the Ottomans’ own intense engagement with the book, for in 1800–1801, Selim II’s namesake successor, Selim III, commissioned his chief gunkeeper, Mehmed ʿArif, to provide all 258 of the manuscript’s paintings with Ottoman-inscribed inserts. Most of these inserts were lost with Arthur Houghton’s dismemberment of the book, but forty of them are preserved in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. While ostensibly intended as a Turkish abridgement of the Persian text, the inserts also provide an important record of how the Shāhnāma-i Shāhī was received in its late Ottoman context. This in turn yields invaluable information on how illustrated manuscripts, as well as Firdawsi’s epic, were more generally viewed and understood in the Islamic world.

Julio Navarro, Fidel Garrido and Íñigo Almela


The Agdal is a royal estate located south of Marrakesh, founded by the Almohad caliph Abu Yaʿqub Yusuf (r. 1163–84). Its current walled perimeter contains 340 hectares, mostly orchards that have been cultivated uninterruptedly, and more than 40 preserved buildings, with numerous archaeological remains scattered throughout its interior. This article is a continuation of one published previously in Muqarnas 34 (2017), which focused on the history of the estate and provided an analysis of the written sources. In this second part, we present an archaeological and architectural study of the Agdal from the material record that we documented in two archaeological surveys carried out in 2012 and 2014. We discuss the complex hydraulic system that has sustained the estate, the internal organization of the enclosures and plots, its diverse agricultural production, the configuration of palatine architecture and spaces for animals, as well as the successive historical transformations of the Agdal.

Julio Navarro, Fidel Garrido and Íñigo Almela

The Agdal is an enormous estate, located south of Marrakesh, that has survived from the twelfth century to the present. Historically it was used for agricultural production and related functions, and included pleasure gardens, pools, mills, and seasonal residences. This study presents the results of a multi-year survey of the Agdal’s water bodies, its place within the regional hydraulic system of khaṭṭāras, cultivation practiced there throughout the centuries, and the internal organization of its land and more than forty buildings. This archaeological approach is joined with a study of manuscript and published sources to give a comprehensive history of the Agdal, one of the most important historic landscapes in the Islamic world.

Abolala Soudavar

Luke Lavan


This article investigates the history of the agorai and minor plazas, excavated at Sagalassos in SW Turkey, during late antiquity (A.D. 283 to ca. 650). It presents new field observations made by the author, based on a survey of stone surface markings, epigraphic context, and spoliation history, and offers an interpretive study of these spaces in terms of their function during the 4th–7th centuries A.D. An assessment of the significance of these observations for the nature of urban government in this period is also offered.