Earthen Architecture in Muslim Cultures

Historical and Anthropological Perspectives


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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Stéphane Pradines, (PhD in Islamic Archaeology from Sorbonne University, Paris IV, 2001) is Associate Professor at the Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilizations, Aga Khan University, London (AKU-ISMC) and an archaeologist working in Egypt and East Africa. Dr Pradines is a specialist of warfare in the medieval Middle east and Muslim trade in the Indian ocean. Prior to joining AKU-ISMC in 2012, Dr Pradines was in charge of Islamic Archaeology at the French Institute in Cairo. His publications include Fortifications et urbanisation en Afrique orientale, 2004, Gedi, une cité portuaire swahilie, 2010 and Guerre et paix dans le Proche-Orient médiéval (Xe-XVe s.), M. Eychenne, S. Pradines & A. Zouache (eds.), Cairo, Ifao/Ifpo, forthcoming.
Acknowledgements and Note on Transliteration
Notes on Contributors
Introduction: An Architecture for the Caliph and the Poor
Stéphane Pradines

1 Adobe as an Islamic Standard: Vernacular Cosmopolitics
Rolando Melo da Rosa
2 The Great Mosque of Timbuktu: Seven Centuries of Earthen Architecture
Bertrand Poissonnier
3 The Periphery Walls of Sijilmāsa, a Medieval Islamic City in Morocco: Contribution to the Identification of Typological and Functional Variability of the Pisé Technique
François-Xavier Fauvelle, Elarbi Erbati, Romain Mensan and Axel Daussy
4 Draa Valley: Tighremt and Igherm, Morocco
Marinella Arena and Paola Raffa
5 The Use of Earth in the Construction of the Qṣūr in Southeastern Algeria
Mounia Chekhab-Abudaya
6 Identity and Architecture: The Fātimid Walls in Cairo
Stéphane Pradines
7 Mud Brick Architecture in Ḥaḍramawt-Yemen under the Quʿaiti and Kathiri Sultanates
Christian Darles
8 Building on the Shoreline: Insights into the Use of Earth in the Architecture of the Late 18th and 19th Centuries in Qatar
Moritz Kinzel
9 Residential Compounds: Earthen Architecture in the Central Desert of Iran
Atri Hatef Naiemi
10 Traditions of Monumental Decoration in the Earthen Architecture of Early Islamic Central Asia
Paul D. Wordsworth
11 Ottoman Earth Architecture in Buda (1541–1686)
Adrienn Papp
12 Between Tradition and Modernity: Building with Earth in a Contemporary City
Elizabeth Golden
All specialists interested in earthen architecture; anthropologists and scholars of Islamic art and architecture.