Book: Archaeology, Politics and Islamicate Cultural Heritage in Europe
Chapter: 1. Introduction
Over the past few decades, traditional narratives of European history and archaeology have been called into question, and the traditional evolutionary picture of European civilisation is progressively being replaced by a more complex and nuanced approach to the past. Yet, the presence of Muslim-ruled societies in the European continent is still seen as an uncomfortable parenthesis; an interruption of ‘natural’ historical developments. The presence of Islamicate culture in Europe is often approached from a perspective that distinctly emphasises its ‘otherness’. The time is ripe for a reassessment of the role played by Islamicate societies in European history, and archaeology must assume a leading part in this process. In this introductory paper, we ask: what is the future of Islamicate archaeology in Europe, and what should our role be in shaping this?