Espaces fortifiés, espaces urbanisés en Islam médiéval. Témoins architecturaux et cultures matérielles

Stephane Pradines, Aga Khan University


In this new issue of Annales Islamologiques, we present a special dossier devoted to recent archaeological research dealing with fortifications and maritime trade in medieval Islam.This file, coordinated by Stéphane Pradines, archaeologist and Arabist scientific member at the Ifao, is primarily the result of a meeting on Islamic archeology organized at the Ifao by Stéphane Pradines from April 29 to May 1, 2003. These meetings, entitled: “Fortified spaces,urbanized in medieval Islam.Architectural witnesses and material cultures”, were an opportunity to bring together some scientists among the best specialists in these questions working in Egypt, Jordan and Syria.Some of them wished to materialize their participation by writing an article for this special file.and Philipp Speiser (Technische Universität Berlin) have been brought together in a first chapter entitled “Fortified spaces in medieval Islam”.This chapter presents examples of fortified architecture, but also of princely residences, in the territories of Bilâd al-Châm and Egypt, from the Umayyad period to the time of Mohammad Ali, at the beginning of the 19th century..The second part of this file, which focuses on "Ports and trade in medieval Islam", deals with trade and maritime relations.Stéphane Pradines, who runs, alongside his excavations in Egypt, two important archaeological sites on the eastern African coast, at Gedi in Kenya and at Kilwa, in Tanzania, wanted to bring together four contributions dealing with navigation along the Yemeni coastsand in the Indian Ocean, thus presenting a state of current research carried out on the ports of Hadhramaut and on the links uniting the ports of the Arabian Peninsula with sub-Saharan Africa and China.They are, in the order of their thematic presentation in this dossier, Claire Hardy-Guilbert (Cnrs, Umr 8084 - Paris), Guy Ducatez (Cnrs, Umr 8084 - Paris), Axelle Rougeulle (Cnrs, Umr 8084 - Paris),and Zhao Bing (Cnrs, Umr 8583 – Paris)