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Investigating Islamicate Archaeology and Heritage through Itinerant Assemblages

Date(s) - 11/18/2020
12:15 pm - 1:00 pm

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Free USD
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UC Berkeley

When archaeologists take for granted social paradigms without recognizing their roots in dominant colonial European narratives and knowledge practices, the result is blind spots in our understanding of cross-cultural interactions and cultural heritage. In this talk, I discuss the archaeological and numismatic evidence for long-distance social relations between the Abbasid Caliphate and medieval communities located in what is today central-, eastern-, and northern Europe. The social activity that generated enduring interactions and expansive networks across Eurasia left extensive material traces, including silver coinage which moved throughout Eurasian seaways and river routes. I argue that problematizing modern social categories in favor of more historically intelligible ones offers a powerful way of reinterpreting these materials and destabilizing ‘center-periphery’ narratives of Islamicate heritage. Coinage in particular has much to offer the study of transcultural heritage, especially from decolonizing approaches to Islamicate heritage and the archaeology of ancient Eurasia.

 Nicholas Tripcevich,,  510-642-2212

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