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The Pottery of Medieval Jerusalem, ca. 1050-1550 CE

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Studies on the material culture of Jerusalem have focused for the most part upon either the Bronze/Iron Ages or the classical era, while the period following the Islamic conquest has either received short shrift, or has been relatively marginalized because it is seen as being either ‘modern’ or ‘post-interesting’ by those who study the earlier periods. This monograph is the first comprehensive resource concerning the pottery of Jerusalem during the Middle Islamic period. It is a useful starting point for those who study the ceramic record and socio-economic history of Jerusalem and its environs during the Fatimid, Crusader/Ayyubid, and Mamluk eras.

The Pottery of Medieval Jerusalem, ca. 1050-1550 CE addresses the manifold aspects of local production, including: evidence for kilns/workshops whence this pottery was manufactured; the vessel forms and the functions they served; the influence of imported ceramics on the local repertoire; information from the available historical record with regard to potters’ guilds, the names given to certain vessel types, and the local products which they contained. Further examination focuses upon the numerous types of ceramics imported to Jerusalem from all over the world, including the following: Syria; Egypt; Iran; Transjordan; Lebanon; China; ‘Byzantine’ Wares from Greece and the Aegean; and Northern Italy (particularly Venice). A thorough examination of the many and varied types of pottery imports will provide valuable insights into the thriving and widespread international trade of Jerusalem during a half-millennium of its rôle as a major regional center in the Islamic world, on par with that of Damascus and Alexandria.

Published: Nov 1, 2023