The American Research Center in Eygpt

Quseir al-Qadim 1980

Quseir al-Qadim 1980

Quseir al-Qadim 1980

Edited by Donald S. Whitcomb and Janet H. Johnson
1982. The American Research Center in Egypt
x + 418pp. ill.; includes bibliographies. 29 cm.
ARCE reports series 7
Cloth ISBN 089 003 113 4
Paper ISBN 089 003 112 6
Distributed by Eisenbrauns
Quseir el-Qadim is the site of a small port on the Egyptian coast of the Red Sea, east of Luxor in Upper Egypt. During Islamic times (thirteenth and fourteenth centuries) it served as an important link in the international trade network of both periods, stretching from the Mediterranean to the Indian Ocean. Located in the desert, with no agricultural hinterland, all of the basics for survival had to be imported, and the city's environment points to a considerable and continuing capital investment, probably feasible only under the impetus of a strong, imperialist government. The impression of a humble fishing village is belied by the artifactual residue of international trade, including, in addition to Egyptian ceramics, Nabataen pottery, imported majolicas from the Mediterranean, and quantities of Chinese celadons and porcelain.

These volumes presents the findings of three seasons of excavation, during which a large section of the Islamic town was cleared, yielding artifacts ranging from China to west Africa. The two volumes are supplemented by reports on epigraphic data recovered in the course of the work, a survey of a Roman gold-mining settlement and shrine 20 kilometers from the port, and a discussion of the old mosques in the modern town of Quseir.
  • Janet Johnson is professor of Egyptology at the Oriental Institute.
  • Donald Whitcomb is research associate and associate professor of Islamic and medieval archaeology at the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago.

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