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The first dynasty to mint gold dinars outside of the Abbasid heartlands, the Aghlabid (r. 800-909) reign in North Africa has largely been neglected in the scholarship of recent decades, despite the canonical status of its monuments and artworks in early Islamic art history. The Aghlabids and their Neighbors focuses new attention on this key dynasty. The essays in this volume, produced by an international group of specialists in history, art and architectural history, archaeology, and numismatics, illuminate the Aghlabid dynasty’s interactions with neighbors in the western Mediterranean and its rivals and allies elsewhere, providing a state of the question on early medieval North Africa and revealing the centrality of the dynasty and the region to global economic and political networks.

Contributors: Lotfi Abdeljaouad, Glaire D. Anderson, Lucia Arcifa, Fabiola Ardizzone, Alessandra Bagnera, Jonathan M. Bloom, Lorenzo Bondioli, Chloé Capel, Patrice Cressier, Mounira Chapoutot-Remadi, Abdelaziz Daoulatli, Claire Déléry, Ahmed El Bahi, Kaoutar Elbaljan, Ahmed Ettahiri, Abdelhamid Fenina, Elizabeth Fentress, Abdallah Fili, Mohamed Ghodhbane, Caroline Goodson, Soundes Gragueb Chatti, Khadija Hamdi, Renata Holod, Jeremy Johns, Tarek Kahlaoui, Hugh Kennedy, Sihem Lamine, Faouzi Mahfoudh, David Mattingly, Irene Montilla, Annliese Nef, Elena Pezzini, Nadège Picotin, Cheryl Porter, Dwight Reynolds, Viva Sacco, Elena Salinas, Martin Sterry.
In: The Aghlabids and their Neighbors
In: The Aghlabids and their Neighbors
In: The Aghlabids and their Neighbors
In: The Aghlabids and their Neighbors
In: The Aghlabids and their Neighbors
In: The Aghlabids and their Neighbors

Abstract

The article presents important results from the Middle Draa Project (MDP) in southern Morocco related to two mid-1st millennium CE hilltop settlements (hillforts) that were associated with significant rock art assemblages. The combination of detailed survey and radiocarbon dating of these remarkable sites provides a unique window on the Saharan world in which the pecked engravings, predominantly of horses, were produced. As the horse imagery featured on the walls of buildings within the settlement, the radiocarbon dating around the mid-1st millennium CE can also be applied in this instance to the rock art. The rarity of rock art of this period within habitation sites is also discussed and it is argued that its occurrence at both these locations indicates that they had some special social or sacred significance for their occupants. While it is commonplace for rock art of this era, featuring horses and camels, to be attributed by modern scholars to mobile pastoralists, a further argument of the paper is that the desert societies were in a period of transformation at this time, with the development of oases. The association of the rock art imagery with sedentary settlements, where grain was certainly being processed and stored, is thus an additional new element of contextual information for the widespread Saharan images of horses and horse and riders.

Open Access
In: Journal of African Archaeology
Peoples, Economies and Cultures, 400-1500
This series publishes outstanding, original research on all aspects of the Mediterranean in the Middle Ages, c. 400-1500. Taking a broad and inclusive approach, it welcomes all methodological and disciplinary angles, including archaeology, art history and material culture, history, literature and cultural studies, and religious studies. Interdisciplinary research and comparative or cross-cultural studies are also warmly welcomed.

The series publishes monographs, edited volumes, and source editions and translations. By taking a holistic approach to the medieval Mediterranean, it emphasises the diversity and vibrancy of historical experiences in this multi-cultural, multi-ethnic and multi-connected region. The vast majority of books are in English, but works of outstanding quality in French and German are also considered.

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