Journal of Islamic Archaeology 2019-09-26T10:35:51+00:00 Bethany Walker Open Journal Systems <p>The Journal of Islamic Archaeology is the only journal today devoted to the field of Islamic archaeology on a global scale. The term refers to the archaeological study of Islamic societies, polities, and communities, wherever they are found. It may be considered a type of “historical” archaeology, in which the study of historically (textually) known societies can be studied through a combination of “texts and tell”.</p> Sgraffito pottery in the Ottoman Timișoara “Palanca Mare” suburb 2019-09-26T10:35:51+00:00 Adriana Gaşpar <p>Rescue excavations conducted at ICAM in Timișoara have shed light on a relatively rare pottery type of the Ottoman period. Since the 2015 campaign, great strides have been made in Ottoman period archaeology in Timișoara, but little attention has been given to the everyday ceramics of the site. The sgraffito pottery from Timișoara represents a distinctive indicator of the mentality and consumption habits of the communities of the Ottoman period. Analysis of this pottery type has shed light on the nature of the various social and economic networks that developed under Ottoman rule. Deriving the multifaceted meanings attached to these sgraffito wares will contribute to the overall history of Timișoara during the Ottoman era (16th–17th centuries), and within the context of other archaeological remains it will aid in reconstructing the topographical situation of the town and its social life.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Click to view Figures</a></p> 2019-09-18T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2019 Equinox Publishing Ltd. Bedouin “Settlement” in the Tell el-Hesi Region in the Late Islamic to British Mandate Period 2019-09-18T10:47:42+00:00 Benjamin Saidel Jeffrey Blakely <p>Combining historical sources with the survey data we document the Bedouin transition from pastoralism to an economy based more on agriculture than animal husbandry. The construction of structures, first baikas and later houses, is evidence for a presumed reduction in mobility. This shift towards an agricultural economy was in part facilitated by the Fellahin/villagers who were hired by the Bedouin to assist in the harvest. This shift and consequential decline in mobility, however, is voluntary and not a result of direct coercion by the Mandate government.</p> 2019-09-18T09:36:38+00:00 Copyright (c) 2019 Equinox Publishing Ltd. Dating Early Islamic Sites through Architectural Elements 2019-09-18T10:47:46+00:00 Hagit Nol <p>The development of the chronology of the Early Islamic period (7th-11th centuries) has largely been based on coins and pottery, but both have pitfalls. In addition to the problem of mobility, both coins and pottery were used for extended periods of time. As a result, the dating of pottery can seldom be refined to less than a 200-300-year range, while coins in Israel are often found in contexts hundreds of years after the intial production of the coin itself. This article explores an alternative method for dating based on construction techniques and installation designs. To that end, this paper analyzes one excavation area in central Israel between Tel-Aviv, Ashdod and Ramla. The data used in the study is from excavations and survey of early Islamic remains. Installation and construction techniques were categorized by type and then ordered chronologically through a common stratigraphy from related sites. The results were mapped to determine possible phases of change at the site, with six phases being established and dated. This analysis led to the re-dating of the Pool of the Arches in Ramla from 172 AH/789 CE to 272 AH/886 CE, which is different from the date that appears on the building inscription. The attempted reconstruction of Ramla involved several scattered sites attributed to the 7th and the 8th centuries which grew into clusters by the 9th century and unified into one main cluster with the White Mosque at its center by the 10th-11th centuries. This dating method chiefly utilizes terminus post quem dates and index fossils to differentiate between the 9th and 10th centuries. This article emphasizes the potential of archaeology as an alternative to written sources in the dating of sites and offers a fresh perspective on the history of this region.</p> 2019-09-18T09:51:42+00:00 Copyright (c) 2019 Equinox Publishing Ltd. The Mosques of Harar 2019-09-18T10:47:50+00:00 Timothy Insoll Ahmed Zekaria <p>The mosques of Harar have been the focus of some architectural and historical study but not archaeological investigation. This was redressed through excavation of six mosques in the city, the results of which are presented. These were identified from existing historical research as significant in the Islamization of Harar. Consensus on either the date or processes of Islamization does not exist. The partial history of the mosques investigated—Aw Abdal, Aw Abadir, Aw Meshad, Din Agobera, Fehkredin, Jami—is based on only a few sources. The results of the excavations provide insights into the Islamization of Harar and supplement the limited historical sources. The six radiocarbon dates obtained indicate a varied mosque chronology spanning the late 15th and early 20th centuries AD. Evidence indicative of the use of mosques for educational purposes, local practices such as animal sacrifice and child burial near the mihrab, and for extensive mosque rebuilding, alteration and remodelling was found. Comparable mosques in Djibouti, Somaliland, and elsewhere in Ethiopia are considered. It is concluded that all the Harari mosques investigated post-date the late 15th century and that the city also dates from this era and was linked with the establishment of Harar as the capital of Adal. Prior to this the Hararis, likely in the form of the legendary Harla, were elsewhere, possibly at Harlaa and other sites in the eastern Harar Plateau and Chercher Mountains.</p> 2019-09-18T10:29:34+00:00 Copyright (c) 2019 Equinox Publishing Ltd. Islamic Archaeology in the Comoros 2019-09-18T10:47:57+00:00 Stéphane Pradines <p>Dembeni was one of the largest and richest archaeological sites in East Africa during the early Islamic period. At its height, between the 9th and the 12th centuries, there was a period of intense trading activity, initially with the Abbasids in the Persian Gulf, and then with the Fatimid Caliphate in the Red Sea. Dembeni has yielded archaeological finds indicating an unprecedented degree of wealth for the time, including a large amount of early Chinese and Persian ceramics, as well as glassware from all over the Islamic world. This accumulation of goods did not happen by chance, and since the first excavations at Dembeni archaeologists have sought the origin of the site’s wealth. Recent excavations at Dembeni suggest that the prosperity of the site was linked to the lucrative rock crystal trade, which accounts for the ubiquity of imported goods. Of Malagasy origin, the rock crystal was exported to Mayotte, where Muslim tradesmen exchanged ceramics, fabric, beads, and glass for the precious rock crystal, with only the highest-quality pieces being exported to Baghdad and Cairo. Evidence points to Dembeni as a major distribution centre for the Malagasy rock crystal in the Indian Ocean.</p> 2019-09-18T10:44:26+00:00 Copyright (c) 2019 Equinox Publishing Ltd.