Session: #376

Theme & Session Format

Archaeological theory and methods beyond paradigms
Session format:
Regular session

Title & Content

Islamicate Archaeology in Europe
All too often, the archaeology of Islamicate societies in Europe finds an awkward fit in European historical narratives, attaching to but not interacting with them, which leads to them being studied separately from their more recognisable European (i.e. Christian) counterparts. This leads to the substantial remains of Islamicate archaeological heritage being presented, outside very restricted academic circles, as the manifestation of a timeless, ahistorical and orientalist reality. The only historical role of these societies seems to have been to interrupt the “natural” historical evolution of some European regions or, in some cases, to act as passive instrument for the construction of the national genealogies of European nations.
This simplifies the interpretation of these societies through the lens of Eurocentrist perspectives on the East, which boils down the complexity of non-European societies into a fixed set of clichés that require little theorisation. Furthermore, though it typically recognises the colonial nature of the Islamic conquest, it ignores the colonialist phenomena that resulted in the demise of these societies, which are covered by the umbrella of various “reconquistas” and “processes of independence”.
This will be the third EAA session on Islamicate archaeology in Europe, following initial successes in 2017 and 2018. We welcome papers on Islamicate cultural heritage and archaeology in, or significantly relevant to, Europe.
archaeology of Islamicate societies, Europe, East, non-European societies, archaeological heritage
Session associated with MERC:
Session associated with CIfA:
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Main organiser:
Chloe Duckworth (United Kingdom) 1
Vladimir Koval (Russia) 2
Leonid Beliaev (Russia) 2
Jose Carvajal (United Kingdom) 3
1. Newcastle University
2. RAS
3. University of Leicester