Main hall to Cairo University
The First International Conference of Islamic Archaeology in the East, 8-11 December 2013, Faculty of Archaeology, Cairo University, Cairo
The current situation in Egypt made this event a little less 'international' than intended, which was a great shame for the organisers, Professor Ahmed Rageb Ali, Conference Coordinator, Professor Mohamed Hamza Ismail al-Haddad, President of the Conference, and Dr Rehab Ibrahim Ahmed el-Siedy, Lecturer in Islamic Archaeology - all from the Faculty of Archaeology. These security concerns were totally unfounded and the few of us who did attend enjoyed three days of papers and discussion followed by two days of sightseeing. I must confess that I passed on a visit to the pyramids (having lived in Cairo the past know only too well how cold it can be out there in December) in favour of a visit to the Museum of Islamic Art to meet the Director, Mr Mostafa Khaled and the Curator of Textiles, Mr Mohamed Abdelsalam, in search of the Herzfeld Samarra typeset that should have been received sometime after the 1922 division meeting at the British Museum - more on that below.
Dr Abdelrahman Salem and Professor Bernard O'Kane chairing a session
An example of one of Ghaybi's fragmentary bowl bases in the collection of the Cairo University Museum
Bab al-Nasr from outside the walls
From left: Ahmed Ali (Museum Curator), Mohammed Darwish (Museum Director), Maha Mohammed (Curator), Yui Kanda, yours truly, and Tarek Gallal (Head of PR for the Faculty of Archaeology)
Cobalt blue glass phial similar to the 170 found by Herzfeld in the Dar al-Khilafah, Samarra
View of the Muhammad Ali mosque and the green dome of Sultan Nasir Muhammad's mosque on the citadel
|The group inside the south-east fortifications on the citadel|
The Madrasa of Sultan Hasan (left) and the Rifai mosque (right), at the base of the citadel
I was extremely glad that I was able to attend this first in a new conference series (by the way, next year's will encompass the eastern Mediterranean world). It was a great opportunity to make contact with Egyptian colleagues and to hear about their current research.
The Samarra finds project is now signing off for the Christmas break, but we wish you all the best for the festive season, and look forward to continuing our project in the New Year!