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In Archaeological Pluridisciplinary Activities and Historical Study, volume 2 of The Oasis of Bukhara, Rocco Rante, Florian Schwarz and Luigi Tronca engage in a strong, pluridisciplinary collaboration and use an innovative approach to offer a new contribution to the history of the oasis of Bukhara from the end of the last millennium BCE to the end of the medieval era. Referencing archaeological, historical and sociological data, the book revisits the history of this Central Asian region, giving the reader, specialist and general reader a detailed description of the political and socio-economical features that characterized the oasis during this long chronological span.
A Reconstruction Based on the Safaitic Inscriptions
Author: Ahmad Al-Jallad
This book approaches the religion and rituals of the pre-Islamic Arabian nomads using the Safaitic inscriptions. Unlike Islamic-period literary sources, this material was produced by practitioners of traditional Arabian religion; the inscriptions are eyewitnesses to the religious life of Arabian nomads prior to the spread of Judaism and Christianity across Arabia. The author attempts to reconstruct this world using the original words of its inhabitants, interpreted through comparative philology, pre-Islamic and Islamic-period literary sources, and the archaeological context.
Editor: Samer Akkach
Naẓar, literally ‘vision’, is a unique Arabic-Islamic term/concept that offers an analytical framework for exploring the ways in which Islamic visual culture and aesthetic sensibility have been shaped by common conceptual tools and moral parameters. It intertwines the act of ‘seeing’ with the act of ‘reflecting’, thereby bringing the visual and cognitive functions into a complex relationship. Within the folds of this multifaceted relationship lies an entangled web of religious ideas, moral values, aesthetic preferences, scientific precepts, and socio-cultural understandings that underlie the intricacy of one’s personal belief. Peering through the lens of naẓar, the studies presented in this volume unravel aspects of these entanglements to provide new understandings of how vision, belief, and perception shape the rich Islamic visual culture.

Contributors: Samer Akkach, James Bennett, Sushma Griffin, Stephen Hirtenstein, Virginia Hooker, Sakina Nomanbhoy, Shaha Parpia, Ellen Philpott-Teo, Wendy M.K. Shaw.
Persian Calligraphy and related traditional arts of books make up the most important forms of Iranian-Islamic art, which are still living practiced traditions up to today. This volume puts together a first-of-a-kind handbook and contains the most important termini technici as well as expressions and techniques connected to the traditional art of Persian calligraphy (mostly Nastaʿlīq), calligraphy tools such as the reed pen, paper and ink as well as some related fields, like taẕhīb (illumination), tašʿīr (historiated painting), book binding, etc. The content is based on thirty prominent classical Persian treatises, composed between twelfth and twentieth centuries. All terms and expressions are followed by an English description and often accompanied by an illustration. These expressions, which are key to understanding old calligraphic treatises and many relevant sources on Islamic art, are meant to familiarise the reader with both common and forgotten techniques and terminology of calligraphic traditions. The volume addresses not only the artists and scholars of Iranian and Islamic art history, but also those, who are dealt with Islamic and Iranian manuscripts, manuscript cultures, codicology and palaeography.
Both the author and the editor of this volume are trained practicing calligraphers and illuminators, who learned the art of calligraphy and illumination through long, traditional study under masters of this art.
In Articulating the Ḥijāba, Mariam Rosser-Owen analyses for the first time the artistic and cultural patronage of the ‘Amirid regents of the last Cordoban Umayyad caliph, Hisham II, a period rarely covered in the historiography of al-Andalus. Al-Mansur, the founder of this dynasty, is usually considered a usurper of caliphal authority, who pursued military victory at the expense of the transcendental achievements of the first two caliphs. But he also commissioned a vast extension to the Great Mosque of Cordoba, founded a palatine city, conducted skilled diplomatic relations, patronised a circle of court poets, and owned some of the most spectacular objects to survive from al-Andalus, in ivory and marble. This study presents the evidence for a reconsideration of this period.
The three-volume series titled The Presence of the Prophet in Early Modern and Contemporary Islam, is the first attempt to explore the dynamics of the representation of the Prophet Muhammad in the course of Muslim history until the present.
This first collective volume outlines his figure in the early Islamic tradition, and its later transformations until recent times that were shaped by Prophet-centered piety and politics. A variety of case studies offers a unique overview of the interplay of Sunnī amd Shīʿī doctrines with literature and arts in the formation of his image. They trace the integrative and conflictual qualities of a “Prophetic culture”, in which the Prophet of Islam continues his presence among the Muslim believers.

Contributors
Hiba Abid, Nelly Amri, Caterina Bori, Francesco Chiabotti, Rachida Chih, Adrien de Jarmy, Daniel De Smet, Mohamed Thami El Harrak, Brigitte Foulon, Denis Gril, Christiane Gruber, Tobias Heinzelmann, David Jordan, Pierre Lory, Catherine Mayeur-Jaouen, Samuela Pagani, Alexandre Papas, Michele Petrone, Stefan Reichmuth, Meryem Sebti, Dilek Sarmis, Matthieu Terrier, Jean-Jacques Thibon, Marc Toutant, Ruggiero Vimercati Sanseverino.
Muqarnas 38 begins by considering a curious Kufic-inscribed block in the eleventh-century church of Wuqro Cherqos in Ethiopia. Mikael Muehlbauer offers a biography of this object from its inception as an inscribed arch in a Fatimid great mosque to its medieval use as a chancel and luxury item. The next two articles focus on India, explaining the function of a fifteenth-century monument and manuscript, respectively. Mohit Manohar tackles issues of race in analyzing the Chand Minar, arguing that this stone minaret was built to commemorate the role of African and Indian officers in a key military victory. Vivek Gupta interprets the Miftāḥ al-Fużalāʾ, a unique illustrated Persian dictionary, as an object of instruction that utilized wonder as a didactic tool. Laura Parodi identifies and reconstructs three sixteenth-century royal gardens in Kabul, which influenced their counterparts in the Mughal metropoles of Hindustan as well as Safavid Iran.

The next three articles concern Ottoman Tunisia: Youssef Ben Ismail traces the rise of the fez in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, considering the commercial and cultural history of the red felt cap with a focus on Tunisian merchants. Sihem Lamine interprets the Zaytuna minaret in Tunis (built in 1892) as a colonial object that signaled a shift in power from the Ottomans to the French protectorate through its neo-Almohad style. Ridha Moumni’s article on Tunisian archaeological history (Part II) likewise critically examines a French colonial project, the Bardo Museum, and demonstrates that native Tunisians had already laid the groundwork for the museum through archaeological and collecting efforts earlier in the nineteenth century.

Twentieth-century photography is featured in the following two essays, the first of which (by Sabiha Göloğlu) dissects the relationship between photography and painting in analyzing Miʿmarzade Muhammed ʿAli’s (d. 1938) oil-on-canvas painting of Mecca and Medina. Jacobé Huet appraises Le Corbusier’s Le Voyage d’Orient, published in 1965 and based on a 1914 typescript of his earlier travel notes, showing how the author’s late edits transform his youthful approach to traditional Mediterranean architecture.

In the Notes and Sources section, Anaïs Leone presents new data for reconstructing the luster tilework decoration of the tomb chamber of ʿAbd al-Samad’s shrine in central Iran. The final essay, by Ignacio Ferrer Pérez-Blanco and Marie-Pierre Zufferey, is an exhaustive study of the five muqarnas capitals in the Alhambra. By sculpting these capitals and comparing them to the proportions of muqarnas profiles in seventeenth-century Spanish carpentry treatises, the authors advance a formal understanding of “Western” muqarnas capitals and establish geometrical relationships that have long been unclear.

Volume 2: The Stratigraphy, Ceramics, and Other Finds
Horvat Omrit is a Roman period sanctuary complex in northern Israel with well-preserved temple architecture. This report presents artifacts recovered in the temenos excavations from 1999 to 2011. The volume begins with a discussion of the excavated stratigraphy, the major building phases, and the dates associated with them. Subsequent chapters examine Hellenistic and Roman ceramics, lamps, terracotta figurines, wall paintings and frescoes, coins from the Roman and medieval periods, a dedicatory pavement inscription, a 3rd-century BCE Aramaic inscription, faunal remains, jewellery, an 8th-century BCE cylinder seal, a marble sphinx, a stucco relief, and a small, inscribed altar. An appendix associates the catalogued artifacts with their stratigraphic locations. Altogether the artifacts contribute to the archaeology and history of a diverse Galilee.
In this ground-breaking work on the Ottoman town of Manastir (Bitola), Robert Mihajlovski, provides a detailed account of the development of Islamic, Christian and Sephardic religious architecture and culture as it manifested in the town and precincts. Originally a town on the edge of the Via Egnatia, this small provincial town gradually developed into a significant administrative, military, religious, cultural and intellectual centre for the Balkans; a vibrant place, nurturing progressive multi-cultural and multi-confessional values with considerable influence on the formation of modern Balkan identities.

The present work is the culmination of thirty years of research using primary source material from archives and chronicles and the monuments themselves for the purpose of both preserving and extending the boundaries of current knowledge. It offers a comprehensive biography of a great cultural knot in the Balkans and offers a rich source for further use by scholars, students and non-technical readership alike.