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Population, Depopulation and Settlement Evolution
In The Oasis of Bukhara: Population, Depopulation and Settlement Evolution, Rocco Rante, archaeologist at the Louvre Museum, presents the results of a large-scale and ambitious regional archaeological investigation of the oasis of Bukhara, corresponding to the delta of the Zerafshan River, from the end of the 1st millennium BCE to the Timurid period. Rante reports the conclusions of several studies of the oasis, realised with the collaboration of distinguished specialists, and covers topics such as human migration, water and the city, urban development and changes in human behaviour. He also revisits the history of this part of Central Asia, providing new historical and cultural insights arising out of the intense archaeological activities undertaken in the field. The volume is co-published by Brill, Leiden, and the Louvre Museum, Paris.
Exhibiting Material Culture in Tunisia (1881-2016)
This book documents and interprets the trajectory of ethnographic museums in Tunisia from the colonial to the post-revolutionary period, demonstrating changes and continuities in role, setting and architecture across shifting ideological landscapes. The display of everyday culture in museums is generally looked down upon as being kitsch and old-fashioned. This research shows that, in Tunisia, ethnographic museums have been highly significant sites in the definition of social identities. They have worked as sites that diffuse social, economic and political tensions through a vast array of means, such as the exhibition itself, architecture, activities, tourism, and consumerism. The book excavates the evolution of paradigms in which Tunisian popular identity has been expressed through the ethnographic museum, from the modernist notion of 'indigenous authenticity' under colonial time, to efforts at developing a Tunisian ethnography after Independence, and more recent conceptions of cultural diversity since the revolution. Based on a combination of archival research in Tunisia and in France, participant observation and interviews with past and present protagonists in the Tunisian museum field, this research brings to light new material on an understudied area.
This book is the first full-length work concerning the restoration and excavations carried out at Qal’at Sem’an in Syria in the twentieth century. It was written by the notable architect and archaeologist Georges Tchalenko based on his notes, plans, photographs and sketches as he undertook the work in the years before and during the Second World War. Left unpublished at the time of his death during the Lebanese Civil War, it is published here for the first time in the original French with an English translation. The text is richly illustrated throughout and accompanied by a biographical essay by John Tchalenko and an introduction to the historiography of Qal’at Sem’an and Symeon Stylites by Emma Loosley Leeming.
In Esoteric Images: Decoding the Late Herat School of Painting Tawfiq Daʿadli decodes the pictorial language which flourished in the city of Herat, modern Afghanistan, under the rule of the last Timurid ruler, Sultan Husayn Bayqara (r.1469-1506). This study focuses on one illustrated manuscript of a poem entitled Khamsa by the Persian poet Nizami Ganjavi, kept in the British Library under code Or.6810. Tawfiq Daʿadli decodes the paintings, reveals the syntax behind them and thus deciphers the message of the whole manuscript. The book combines scholarly efforts to interpret theological-political lessons embedded in one of the foremost Persian schools of art against the background of the court dynamic of an influential medieval power in its final years.
Les fouilles UCL/INSAP, 2000-2005
Le site archéologique le plus visité au Maroc, Volubilis est connu depuis longtemps pour ses mosaïques spectaculaires. Ce livre traite de ce qui est arrivé à la ville après le retrait de l'administration romaine à la fin du troisième siècle. Les fouilles publiées ici montrent comment la ville a continué à survivre jusqu'au cinquième siècle, avec des maisons d'élite commandant encore des mosaïques élégantes, et comment cette occupation a pris fin dans un séisme brutal. La ville renaît au sixième siècle avec de nouveaux occupants, la tribu berbère des Awraba. Au VIIIe siècle, il devint le siège de l'homme qui unit la plus grande partie du Maroc à la tête de l'Awraba, Idris I, descendant du prophète Mahomet.

The most-visited archaeological site in Morocco, Volubilis has long been known for its spectacular mosaics. Instead, this book deals with what happened to the town after the Roman administration was withdrawn at the end of the third century. The excavations published here show how the town continued to survive into the fifth century, with élite houses still commissioning elegant and witty mosaics, and how this occupation came to an end in a brutal earthquake. The town revived in the sixth century with new occupants, the Berber Awraba tribe. In the eighth century, it became the headquarters of the man who united most of Morocco at the head of the Awraba, Idris I, a descendant of the prophet Mohammed.

Contributeurs/Contributors: Ali Aït Kaci, Victoria Amoros-Ruiz, Mustafa Atki, Amira K. Bennison, Helen Dawson, Fatima-Zohra El-Harrif, Hafsa El Hassani, Abdallah Fili, Dorian Fuller, Guy Hunt, Anthony King, Tarik Moujoud, Gaetano Palumbo, Ruth Pelling, Susan Walker, Mark Wilson Jones.
In The Islamic Funerary Inscriptions of Bahrain, Pre-1317 AH/1900 AD, the authors present a study of the funerary inscriptions based upon fieldwork completed in Bahrain between 2013-2015. A comprehensive illustrated catalogue of 150 gravestones in 26 locations is provided with transcription of the inscriptions into modern Arabic and translation into English. Subjects considered include: the history of Islamic burial, gravestone, and cemetery research on Bahrain, gravestone chronology, gravestone and cemetery types, stone sources and gravestone manufacture, the gravestone inscriptions, content, iconography and decoration, and the archaeology of the shrines and cemeteries in which some of the gravestones were found, contemporary practices relating to cemeteries, graves, and gravestones, the threats facing the gravestones, and management options for protecting and presenting the gravestones.
Archaeology, History and Memory
Editor: 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.
Muqarnas 35 begins in Almohad Marrakesh, with one article analyzing the plan of the twelfth-century Kutubiyya Mosque and another on the hydraulics, architecture, and agriculture of the Agdal, a medieval Islamic estate that continues to be cultivated. The volume also contains an essay discussing the patronage and decoration of the Begumpuri Masjid of Jahanpanah (Delhi), with an accompanying note tracing the history of glazed tiles. Several articles challenge long-held scholarly assumptions on topics such as Mughal portraiture and the atypical square-tower minarets in Herzegovina. Other essays deal with questions of cultural identity, whether manifested in grand-scale architectural monuments or in personal belongings—for example, the family photo album with portraits of Ottoman sultans compiled by a Hungarian woman who immigrated to Istanbul in the mid-nineteenth century; and an illustrated genealogy from seventeenth-century Baghdad that represents tensions between the Ottomans and Safavids. Rounding out the volume is a history of modern art in Baghdad, focusing on the painter Jewad Selim and his encounter with Yahya al-Wasiti’s illustrations of the Maqāmāt al-Ḥarīrī. The Notes and Sources section announces the discovery of two rare early Abbasid painted ceramic bowls from recent excavations in central Israel. It also features a study of a nineteenth-century Persian manuscript on porcelain manufacture; as well as a heretofore-unknown manuscript of The Arabian Antiquities of Spain by the Irish architect James Cavanah Murphy, with many extra illustrations, original drawings, and proofs of plates. Volume 35 includes articles by Julio Navarro et al., Abbey Stockstill, Yves Porter and Richard Castinel, Laura E. Parodi, Melis Taner, Maximilian Hartmuth, Nebahat Avcıoğlu, Saleem al-Bahloly, Itamar Taxel et al., Mehran and Moujan Matin, and Lynda S. Mulvin.

Abstract

This essay closely examines three early Mughal portraits—the Portrait of Shah Abuʾl-Maʿali, Portrait of Mir Musavvir, and an alleged self-portrait of Mir Sayyid ʿAli—as well as a seal impression from an early sixteenth-century copy of Jamal al-Din Husayni Shirazi’s Rawżat al-Aḥbāb. The resulting scenario challenges certain scholarly assumptions that are based on a blind acceptance of the narrative contained in official Mughal sources. The analysis serves to substantiate and articulate evidence on the role of Central Asian elites (more specifically, religious elites) in the early Mughal period. It also contributes to the socio-historical contextualization of Mughal paintings on the basis of the inscriptions contained in them and stimulates further discussion on the origins of Mughal portraiture.

In: Muqarnas Online

Abstract

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.

In: Muqarnas Online