|Title: ||Impact of the Arab conquest on late Roman settlement in Egypt|
|Authors: ||Gascoigne, Alison Lucy|
|Issue Date: ||8-Oct-2002|
|Abstract: ||The Arab conquest of Egypt in 642 AD affected the development of Egyptian towns
in various ways. The actual military struggle, the subsequent settling of Arab tribes
and changes in administration are discussed in chapter 1, with reference to specific
sites and using local archaeological sequences. Chapter 2 assesses whether our
understanding of the archaeological record of the seventh century is detailed enough
to allow the accurate dating of settlement changes. The site of Zawyet al-Sultan in
Middle Egypt was apparently abandoned and partly burned around the time of the
Arab conquest. Analysis of surface remains at this site confirmed the difficulty of
accurately dating this event on the basis of current information.
Chapters 3 and 4 analyse the effect of two mechanisms of Arab colonisation
on Egyptian towns. First, an investigation of the occupation by soldiers of threatened
frontier towns (ribats) is based on the site of Tinnis. Examination of the
archaeological remains indicates a significant expansion of Tinnis in the eighth and
ninth centuries, which is confirmed by references in the historical sources to building
programmes funded by the central government. Second, the practice of murtaba ` aljund,
the seasonal exploitation of the town and its hinterland for the grazing of
animals by specific tribal groups is examined with reference to Kharibta in the
western Delta. Kharibta had apparently declined in size and prosperity by around the
eleventh century. Chapter 5 considers the development of the important Pharaonic
administrative centre of Edfu in Upper Egypt. Exposed archaeological sequences have
clarified the movement of settlement in the town eastwards during the Islamic period.
The final chapter proposes two factors that have hitherto not been given
sufficient weight. First, the importance of military settlement in promoting settlement
change; and second, the flawed nature of our understanding of the urban
archaeological record for this important period. The thesis concludes with a suggested
paradigm of urban transition, which will allow greater understanding of the changes in
settlement in Roman and Islamic Egypt.|
|Appears in Collections:||Theses - Asian and Middle Eastern Studies|
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