Long-Distance Trade in Early Medieval Landscapes (9th-12th Centuries): New Methods and Approaches in Archaeology
Universität Hamburg, 20-21 September 2019, Edmund-Siemers-Allee 1, AS-Saal, 20146 Hamburg.
Hagit Nol organizes an interdisciplinary workshop on "Long-Distance Trade in Early Medieval Landscapes (9th-12th Centuries): New Methods and Approaches in Archaeology."
Archaeology generates historical narratives through material culture. One of its merits is in sketching the economic history of sites, of regions and of mega-regions. Through physical remains it can identify networks, trade routes, hubs (centers), and production sites. An additional strength is its ability to point to changes over time. For these purposes archaeologists employ methods and sub-disciplines such as GIS mapping and network analysis, geomorphology, petrography, archaeozoology, archaeobotany and the study of textiles, along with typological studies of pottery, glass and coins. The main aim of this workshop is to present varied approaches to the distribution of goods and the distance they traveled.
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Current and Future Research on Central Asia
For months a team of the Universität Hamburg headed by Stefan Heidemann in conjunction with the ERC project “The Early Islamic Empire at Work” and the “Centre for the Study of Manuscript Cultures” exchanged emails for a co-operation with Uzbek institutions.
On April 11, 2019, high-ranking delegates from the Center for the Civilisation of Islam and the Scientific Research Center Imam al-Bukhari in Samarqand visited the Universität Hamburg. They introduced their institutions and their research profiles. Then current projects in Hamburg and joined future projects of mutual interest in the field of the study of the Early Islamic Empire and Manuscript Cultures were presented by scholars from Hamburg and Uzbekistan.
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Die Wiederkehr der Sklaven: Sklaverei und Abhängigkeit im Vorderen Orient und auf dem indischen Subkontinent
Symposium der Akademie der Wissenschaften und der Literatur, Mainz – 7. bis 8. November 2018 in Verbindung mit der Universität Hamburg
Das Symposium schließt sich mit seinen Fragestellungen an das seit 60 Jahren laufende, inzwischen abgeschlossene Projekt „Forschungen zur antiken Sklaverei“ der Akademie der Wissenschaft und der Literatur in Mainz an.
Das Symposium beginnt am Mittwochnachmittag und endet mit einer öffentlichen Podiumsdiskussion am Donnerstagnachmittag.
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The Reach of Empire - The Early Islamic Empire at Work
As the ERC project “The Early Islamic Empire at Work – The View from the Regions Towards the Center” nears its end, its final conference invites participants to consider the reach of the early Islamic Empire from the 7th to the 10th centuries CE.
When we talk about the reach of the early Islamic empire, we usually consider the geographical extent it encompassed, from the Hindukush to the Atlantic. However, the question of reach is a more intricate one...
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The Measure of Integration – Economic Structures and Resources of the Early Islamic Empire
The Old World dry belt from the Atlantic to the Hindukush experienced in the early Islamic Empire a prosperity and mobility of resources and people which was unprecedented in that vast realm. As in the Roman Mediterranean World, the economy played a vital role in the integration of the empire.
This workshop aimed at developing an empirically based theoretical framework to gain a better understanding of the economic structures within the early Islamic Empire, as well as their potential as an integrative force connecting the different regions governed by the early caliphate.
The workshop proposed a more comprehensive view of economy, encompassing road and sea networks and their maintenance, monetary and fiscal politics, agricultural improvements in irrigation and crops, industrial structures, and the influences of climate conditions. Beyond examining these economic dimensions of the early Islamic empire, the workshop shall also consider questions of theory and methodology for future research.
Our guest speakers were Prof. John F. Haldon (Princeton University), Prof. Maya Shatzmiller (Western University Canada), Dr. Marek Jankowiak (University of Birmingham), Prof. Hugh Kennedy (SOAS London), Prof. Timothy Power (Zayed University, Abu Dhabi), and Prof. Michael Decker (University of South Florida).
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The workshop was organized around the following key themes:
1 . Regulating the Economy
2. Economic Resources
3. Long-Distance Trade by Land and Sea
4. Round-Table Discussion: Theories on the Economy of the Early Islamic Empire
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Eastern Coins in the Early Modern World Antiquarianism and the Oriental Artifact 1500-1800, Sept. 26-29, 2017, Trujillo, Spain
Martin Mulsow (Erfurt/ Gotha), Stefan Heidemann (Hamburg)
Fundación Xavier de Salas / Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel
From the 15th to the 18th century, collecting, studying, and exchanging antique coins as gifts was an antiquarian interest that reflected a social pattern among scholars, learned individuals, and even princes. Collecting coins was regarded as a comparatively inexpensive approach for reconstructing ancient history. The scholarly and historical fascination with coins was applied to the study of the two great civilizations of antiquity, Rome and Greece. The history of the Orient, in comparison, was still a fledgling field of study. The first Islamic chronicle available in Europe which provided access to Islamic history was the Historia Saracenica published by Thomas Erpenius in 1625. Some scholars, such as Johann Heinrich Hottinger in his De nummis orientalium (1659) even published short books and articles on Oriental coins. These works greatly extended the world of antiquarian curiosity to Oriental artifacts and to the east more widely. It is interesting to note that many scholars tried to link their insights into the Orient with the Orient that they knew best, that of the Bible.
The first monograph on Islamic coins was published and illustrated in 1724 by Georg Jakob Kehr as Monarchiae Asiatico-Saracenicae Status. Kehr’s description of a hoard of Kufic dirhams is surprisingly accurate and he also provided a full report of its provenance. This monograph became a landmark publication and represented the inception of the study of Islamic archaeology.
The decades after the European Seven-Years-War (1756-1763) mark an unprecedented transition in humanities in general and in antiquarian studies in particular, to a more systematic and methodical approach in scholarship. In Germany, Oriental Numismatics with J. G. Eichhorn, O. Tychsen, and J. G. Adler went along the disciplinary path of Biblical Studies, which itself progressed from the historical turn within the theology of enlightenment to Oriental philology. Adler’s scholarly description of the collection of Stefano Borgia (1782) set an example of scholarship for a generation of European scholars. In Spain, Bernardo Aldrete had studied Punic coins in his Varias antiguedades de España, Africa y otras prouincias in 1614. Vincenzio Juan de Lastanosa’s Museo de las medallas desconocidas españolas (1645) was an early example of the antiquarian interest in Islamic coins. This scholarly interest finally took off with the Maronite Miguel Casiri at the Royal Library in the 1780s.
Based on recent scholarship on early modern antiquarianism and the genesis of Oriental philologies in the 17th century, we intend with this conference to contribute new insights into the rise of antiquarianism with respect to Oriental objects and to consider the different scholarly attitudes towards the material culture of the Orient and vice versa.
Oct. 7-8, 2106: Regional and Transregional Elites – Connecting the Early Islamic Empire, AS-Saal, ESA 1, Universität Hamburg
The conference aimed at examining the roles that regional and transregional elites played in governing the vast early Islamic Empire (7th-10th century CE). The regional elites and their participation in governance and administration are essential for understanding the intricate workings of the early Islamic Empire, offering their loyalty or showing their dissatisfaction.
Similarly, the study of transregional elites, who projected imperial power but sought also to negotiate regional interests at the caliphal court, promises key insights into how the caliphal administration controlled and integrated diverse regions and populations whilst securing the interests of the empire at large.
The conference followed a workshop format, with a focus on discussion. Among the speakers were Cyrille Aillet, Amikam Elad, Matthew Gordon, Hugh Kennedy, Petra Sijpesteijn and Luke Treadwell.
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March 11, 2016: 101 Years of Research in the Oasis of Bukhara – Looking Forward to New Venues - Hofstra University in Cooperation with Universität Hamburg and ISAW/NYU
The conference workshop, which takes place March 11, 2016, at Hofstra University, is jointly organized by Hofstra University, the Institute of the Studies of the Ancient World (ISAW/NYU), and the ERC Project “The Early Islamic Empire at Work - The View from the Regions Toward the Center” at Universität Hamburg.
We look back at 101 years of archaeological and historical research concerning the Oasis of Bukhara. The future path lies in a multidisciplinary approach, integrating the physical environment, archaeological studies, material culture, and a history based on literary sources.
The workshop seeks to address the interplay and entanglement of the political, geographical, climatic, and economic factors in the history of the Oasis of Bukhara, within the contexts of the larger empires. Geo-sciences and history are connected on the ground with archaeology. The aim is to develop a new dynamic historical model of the historical, political, and economic system of the oasis.
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Feb. 17, 2016: Dimensions of Digital Humanities
Internal Introductory Workshop of the ERC Projects of the AAI, Universität Hamburg
The workshop, which takes place Feb. 17, 2016, at Universität Hamburg, is jointly organized by the on-going ERC projects of the Asien-Afrika-Institut: Contemporary Bioethics and the History of the Unborn in Islam (COBHUNI), From Translation to Creation: Changes in Ethiopic Style and Lexicon from Late Antiquity to the Middle Ages (TraCES), and The Early Islamic Empire at Work - The View from the Regions Toward the Center.
The aim of the workshop is to bring together different strands of Digital Humanties and share experience of tools used and developed within the different ERC projects. Each team will present its digital components in order to identify common needs and to create ways of cooperation.
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October 7-9, 2015: The Cities in Transoxiana – Occupation, Agriculture, and Environmental Changes in the First Millennium - The Bukhara Oasis Study Days - Universität Hamburg in Cooperation with ISAW / NYU
The aim of this workshop was to bring together experts of archaeology, historical science, and geography in order to approach the geographical turn of historical research.
Digital 4-dimensional mapping allows completely new venues of historical research. The additional dimension of showing geomorphologic structures and changes over time enables geo-historical models that can indicate shifting borders, the opening and closing of mints over time, irrigation systems expanding and contracting dependent on political stability, the effects of nomadic invasions, climate change, and so forth.
Hence the economy and productivity of irrigation systems in the oasis of Bukhara can be compared with environmental, historical, and archaeological data. Moreover, the integrated geographical data of several surveys, projects, historical maps, and excavations can be checked against climate data, periods of nomad movements, and major conquests.
Nov. 27- 29, 2014: Administrative Structures, Concepts, Approaches, and Comparisons
The early Islamic Empire is one of the three empires arising from the demise of the Roman-Sasanian world. The first two were the Holy Roman Empire founded by Charlemagne in Western Europe and the reduced and transformed Byzantine Empire in the north-eastern Mediterranean.
The third, the largest and most diverse, is the Islamic Empire, which joined together for the first time in history two large geographic areas of the ancient Hellenistic world – most of the Mediterranean and the Iranian plateau.
The aim of the workshop was to look at administrative structures of the early Islamic Empire from a comparative perspective, examining both its Mediterranean parent, the Roman Empire, and its western sister, the Carolingian Empire.
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Oct. 9, 2014: Toward an Understanding of Regional Geography
- What was the geographic landscape of our areas?
- How did it influence travel routes, economy and interaction between the local population?
- What were the predominant tights e.g. family, marriage, economy for a certain region?
- Have there been networks of interconnected cities and valleys?
- How were different regions connected with each other?
- What were the major travel routes?
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