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Assemblage de pipes ottomanes d’Assiout

Egypt and its Relationships with the Near East in Medieval Times

Projet Prf-2021-030_ERNEsT#22021

The FED-tWIN programme is a federal research programme to support sustainable cooperation between the ten Federal Scientific Institutions  (FSI) which fall under Belgian Science Policy (BELSPO) and the eleven Belgian universities.

01/09/2022 – 31/08/2027

Description of the project
The long-term aim of the project is to consolidate and perpetuate the joint research carried out at the ULB and the KMKG-MRAH and the expertise of these two institutions in the study of the material culture and socio-economic contexts of Egypt and the Levant during the Islamic period.

The ERNEsT project will focus on studying the evolution and development of material culture, especially ceramics, in the Middle East during the Islamic period. To this end, the analysis and valorisation of ceramics from the Fustat collection (Cairo, Egypt) within the Art of the Islamic World collections will be favoured. This important collection, made up of tableware, various Mediterranean imports and Fustat's own production, is chronologically dated between the 7th century, i.e. the Arab-Muslim conquest of Egypt, and the Ottoman period.

The aim is to recontextualise and clarify the chrono-typologies of medieval pottery production through comparison with other museum collections (Iranian ceramics in particular, Egyptological collections, etc.), published material and unpublished material from archaeological excavations. The functional study of the ceramics, coupled with documentary research, will help to better define the food and culinary practices over the long term. Identifying the origins of pottery will also help to trace medieval trade within the Arab-Muslim empire, but also with other Mediterranean and Far Eastern powers. Finally, special attention will be paid to potters' marks (signatures, stamps and pseudo-signs) on ceramics in order to better understand the status of craftsmen and the organisation within the workshop structure.

Dr. Julie Marchand

Coordinator RMAH
Dr. Bruno Overlaet
Royal Museums of Art and History (KMKG-MRAH)

Coordinator ULB
Prof. Agnès Voaker
Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB)