Cairo, complex of Emir Qurqumas
Funerary complex of Emir Qurqumas (Emir Kebir Qurqumas)
Polish-Egyptian Mission for the Restoration of Islamic Monuments in Cairo (City of the Dead, Mausoleum of Emir Kabir Qurqumas/Mosque of Amir Qurqumas)
Type of site:
Mosque, funerary complex
Cairo (northern part of the “Northern Necropolis”)
Mamluk period (complex built in the first decade of the 16th century AD)
Most interesting finds:
– Temporary residence of the founder – qasr
– Sufi meetinghouse – khanqah
– Multicolored marble facings of walls and floors
– Polychromed wood ceilings
– Quranic inscriptions carved in low relief
History of research:
Dates of PCMA mission’s work:
Type of research:
Archaeological and conservation works
Andrzej Misiorowski (1972–1974)
– Ireneusz Nieduziak (1974–1977)
– Jerzy Kania (1977–1989; 1995–2000)
– Andrzej Żaboklicki (1990–1991)
– Jarosław Dobrowolski (1992–1995)
– Jerzy Kania again
Polish Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology, University of Warsaw
– Institute of Mediterranean and Oriental Cultures, Polish Academy of Sciences (then Research Center for Mediterranean Archaeology PAS – ZAŚ PAN)
– State Ateliers for Conservation of Cultural Property (PP PKZ)
– Egyptian Antiquities Service
In 1972, the Polish-Egyptian Group for the Restoration of Islamic Monuments was created. It included Andrzej Misiorowski, Ireneusz Nieduziak, Jerzy Kania (PP PKZ), Jarosław Dobrowolski (PCMA UW), and Maciej Witkowski (ZAŚ PAN).
Description of the site and research:
According to the inscription above the entrance, the monumental complex of emir Qurqumas was founded in 1507. It consists of a mosque/madrasah (Quranic school), a Sufi meetinghouse, the emir’s residence, and the neighboring funerary complex of sultan Ashraf Inal. It is an example of Mamluk architecture in its most developed form. The complex was abandoned in the 18th century.
The work on the site included archaeological excavations of grave chambers and foundations, anthropological research, architectural and conservation works, as well as historical studies, for example of the 16th-century donation deed of emir Qurqumas (hogga).
Witkowski, M. G. (2011). Burials in the complex of Great Amir Qurqumas (No. 162) in Cairo’s „Northern Necropolis”. Polish Archaeology in the Mediterranean 20, 587-603.
Witkowski, M. G. (2007). Amir Qurqumas Complex in Cairo. In E. Laskowska-Kusztal (ed.), Seventy Years of Polish Archaeology in Egypt, Polish Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology (pp. 191–204), University of Warsaw.
Witkowski, M. (2001). The Izara Friezes in the Sidlasof the Great Amir Qurqumas’ Madrasaat Cairo North Cemetery (No. 162). Some Notes on a Margin of an Epigraphic Survey (1998–1999), Études et Travau XXIX, 337–353
Dobrowolski, J. (1995). Zespół grobowy emira Qurqumasa w Kairze. In M. L. Bernhard (ed.), Od Nilu do Eufratu. Polska Archeologia Śródziemnomorska 1981–1994 (pp. 61-68), Warszawa: PCMA
Scholl, T. and El-Menabbawy, M. (1994). Amir Kebir Qurqumas Mausoleum in Cairo: 1993. Polish Archaeology in the Mediterranean 5, 52-54.
Scholl, T. and El-Menabbawy, M. (1993). Emir Qurqumas in Cairo: Excavations in the southern yard, 1992. Polish Archaeology in the Mediterranean 4, 40-42.
Kania, J. J. (1986). Zespół grobowy emira Qurqumasa w Kairze. In Z. Kiss (ed.), 50 lat polskich wykopalisk w Egipcie i na Bliskim Wschodzie (pp. 101-106), Warszawa
Misiorowski, A. (1979). Mausoleum of Qurqumas in Cairo: an example of the architecture and building art of Mamlouk Period, Warszawa
Praca zbiorowa. (1985). Mausoleum of Qurqumas in Cairo. Results of Investigations and Conservation Works 2, Warszawa: Wydawnictwa Pracowni Konserwacji Zabytków