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Investigating Islamicate Archaeology and Heritage through Itinerant Assemblages

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

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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.

 arf-programs@berkeley.edu

 Nicholas Tripcevich,  arf-labs@berkeley.edu,  510-642-2212

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