Ivory Trade and Exchange in Late Antiquity and Early Islam (18-19 june, London)

12/6/13 .- http://warburg.sas.ac.uk

Ivory Trade and Exchange in Late Antiquity and Early Islam
18 and 19 June 2013
International Conference hosted by the Warburg Institute

Organised with the support of the London Middle East Institute at SOAS, and held in association with the Leverhulme Trust

Convened by: Hugh Kennedy and Myriam Wissa (SOAS)

Speakers include: Silvia Armando (Università di Urbino, Italy), Doris Behrens-Abouseif (SOAS), Anna Contadini (SOAS), Rebecca Foote (London), Sarah Guerin (Courtauld Institute), Jeremy Johns (University of Oxford), Hugh Kennedy (SOAS), Anna McSweeney (SOAS), Robert Morkot (Exeter), Wen-Chin Ouyang (SOAS), Tim Power (UCL, Qatar), Stéphane Pradines(Agha Khan University), Stephen Quirke (Petrie Museum and UCL), Mariam Rosser-Owen (Victoria and Albert Museum), Oliver Watson (University of Oxford) and Myriam Wissa (SOAS)

Contributor: Anthony Cutler (Pennsylvania State University, USA)

In recent years Andalusian and Siculo-Arabic ivory carving has received a huge amount of attention from stylistic, iconographic and archaeological perspectives. This conference is organised in the context of a major Leverhulme-funded project, “Bridging Religious Difference in a Multicultural Eastern Mediterranean Society. Communities of Artisans and their Commercial Networks in Egypt from Justinian to the ‘Abbasids (6th-10th centuries)”, in which Dr Myriam Wissa, the project researcher, and Professor Hugh Kennedy are involved. It invites scholars to give their pertinent and innovative views on ivory sources, local markets of the African hinterland, patterns of supply and demand, method of provisioning, trade routes and the transit trade in Indian Ocean ivory. The objectives of this conference is to go beyond the narrow confines of art history and archaeology, focusing on the history of trade and exchange, socio-political and diplomatic relations in Late Antiquity and early Islam, whilst combining carving and the transmission of techniques. The comparative and multi-disciplinary approaches allow, for the first time, a thorough understanding of such issues.


Tuesday 18 June 2013



SESSION 1 - Ivory sources: the African connection

Chair: Hugh Kennedy (SOAS)

Paul Webley (Director- SOAS, University of London)

Hugh Kennedy (SOAS)
Opening remarks

Stephen Quirke (Petrie Museum, UCL)
Ivory – a long wave history: products and production, prehistoric to medieval, in the collections of the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology

Tea/coffee (Common Room)

Robert Morkot (Exeter University)
Where does ivory come from: changing empires changing Sources

Response: Myriam Wissa (SOAS)

Stéphane Pradines (Aga Khan University, London)
To the Sources of the Ivory: the Bilad al-Zendj and the Dar al-Fil

Response: Tim Power (UCL, Qatar)

Lunch (provided for the speakers and chairs only in Common Room)


SESSION 2 - Ivory trade, gift, exchange and diplomacy in Late Antiquity and the early Caliphate

Chair: Doris Behrens-Abou Seif (SOAS)

Tim Power (UCL, Qatar)
Red Sea Perspectives on the Late Antique and Early Islamic Ivory Trade

Myriam Wissa (SOAS)
Three worlds at the crossroads in the early Abbasid Caliphate: Coptic, Carolingian, “Hashimiyya” and Abbasid ivory plaques, gift, exchange or re-use?

Rebecca Foote (London)
The Humayma ivories: expression of the Abbasid rise to the Caliphate?

Response: Myriam Wissa (SOAS)

Tea/coffee (Common Room)


SESSION 3 - Ivory and the royal art of Norman Sicily

Chair: Mariam Rosser-Owen (Victoria and Albert Museum)

Jeremy Johns (University of Oxford)
Strained relationships: carved ivories of the "Amalfi Group","Siculo-Arabic painted ivories" and the royal art of Norman Sicily

Response: Mariam Rosser-Owen (Victoria and Albert Museum)


Wednesday 19 June 2013


SESSION 4 - Siculo-Arabic and Ifrīqiyan ivories: trade and technique

Chair: Anna Contadini (SOAS)

Silvia Armando (Università di Urbino "Carlo Bo", Italy)
Cutting, assembling and painting. Towards a new classification of the 'Siculo-Arabic' ivories

Sarah Guerin (Courtauld Institute)
Ivories of Ifrīqiya and southern Italy: trade and technique

Response: Jeremy Johns (University of Oxford)

Tea/coffee (Common Room)


SESSION 5 - Ivory of Al-Andalus: trade, gift and diplomatic relations

Chair: Jeremy Johns (Oxford)

Mariam Rosser-Owen (Victoria and Albert Museum)
West African trade and the ivories of Al-Andalus


SESSION 6 - Seljuk’s ivory

Chair: Wen-Chin Ouyang (SOAS)

Anna Mc Sweeney (SOAS)
A Seljuk carved ivory panel?

Doris Behrens- Abouseif (SOAS), Anna Contadini (SOAS), Jeremy Johns (University of Oxford) Hugh Kennedy (SOAS), Mariam Rosser-Owen (Victoria and Albert Museum) and Myriam Wissa (SOAS)
General discussion

Jeremy Johns (University of Oxford)
Concluding remarks

Hugh Kennedy (SOAS)
Closing address

Lunch (provided for the speakers and chairs only, in Common Room)

Fees and Registration

Admission (both days): £30/£15 Students - The price includes coffee/tea and reception

Enquiries, Pre-registration and Payment for the Conference

Please note that in order to attend this conference at the Warburg Institute you need to register and pay online in advance. The Institute lecture’s room can only accommodate 90 people. Please register in advance to avoid disappointment.

To register and pay online please click here

If you have any queries about the registration process please contact:

Vincenzo Paci-Delton - Events and Magazine Coordinator London Middle East Institute

E-mail: vp6(at)soas.ac.uk Tel. No: 0207 898 4490

The Warburg Institute, University of London, School of Advanced Study; Woburn Square, London WC1H 0AB. Tel. (020) 7862 8949 - Fax. (020) 7862 8955

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