The Archaeology of Islam / Edition 1

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This book examines the archaeological implications of Islam as a force which can act upon all areas of life. Islam leaves distinctive material culture remains and distinctive categories of evidence which can be described, tested and used to indicate the presence of Muslim life in the archaeological record. The subject and the geographical area of Islam is vast. The author provides an assessment of the means and the methods of uncovering Islamic material records in the context of a wide range of times and places. Coverage extends from the origins of Islam in the seventh century AD up to the present.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This little book packs a punch ... this book has so much to say, and it should be read by both Islamic specialists and mainstream archaeologists." Antiquity

" ... [a] stimulating and informative book." Journal of Islamic Studies

"His goal is not only to demonstrate the richness and variety of the material culture of Muslim societies ... but also to interpret material culture and connect it convincingly to social characteristics" Aramco World

"The standard of scholarship by the author is considerable and his reading and understanding of Islam most impressive" Times Higher Education Supplement

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780631201144
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 2/3/1999
  • Series: Social Archaeology Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 292
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Meet the Author

Timothy Insoll is currently a Research Fellow in Archaeology at St John's College, Cambridge. From January 1999 he has been appointed a lecturer in Archaeology at the University of Manchester. He has conducted fieldwork in Mali, Eritrea, India, Uganda, Turkey and the UK. He has published numerous papers in academic journals, and one of his most recent publications, a monograph, is Islam, Archaeology and History: The Gao Region, Mali.

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Table of Contents

List of Figures
List of Plates
1 Introduction 1
2 The Mosque 26
Scales of Analysis: Structuring Principles and Cultural Diversity 27
Structuring Principles: the Mosque 28
Cultural Diversity: Regional Traditions 33
The Archaeological Study of the Mosque 33
Places of Prayer and Muslim Religious Identity 49
3 The Domestic Environment 60
An Ideal Islamic Domestic Environment 62
Archaeological Recognition 66
Archaeology, Domestic Space and Social Use 77
4 Muslim Life 93
Food and Drink 94
Education and Health 108
Pilgrimage and Travel 109
Personal Possessions and Dress 116
Magic and Talismanic Protection 124
War 128
5 Art, Trade and Ideas 133
Islamic Art or Art of Muslims: Background and Components 134
Visual Imagery 144
The Transmission of Muslim Iconography and Other Ideas 148
Coinage 149
Trade Routes and Trade Goods 151
The Transmission of Islamic 'Civilization' 162
6 Death and Burial 166
Muslim Burial: Ideals and Origins 167
The Place of the Dead 169
Tombs for the Living and the Dead 176
Funerary Epigraphy: the Language of Death 187
The Apple and the Olive 195
The Archaeology of Paradise 197
7 The Community Environment 201
Muslim Cities and Settlements 202
Social Dimension of the Muslim Settlement 207
A Total Approach: the Landscape 218
The Contemporary and Future Situation 224
8 An Archaeology of Islam? 227
References 233
Index 262
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