PCMA Seminar: Handmade Islamic-period pottery from Bilād al-Shām

In the PCMA Seminar series Dr. Piotr Makowski will present a lecture “Towards a better understanding of the chronological and geographical distribution patterns of plain and painted handmade wares in Bilād al-Shām”.

Abstract: “For nearly the entire span of the Islamic period plain and painted handmade wares were immutable components of cultural and communal identity in the Bilād al-Shām. It follows, therefore, that their uninterrupted utilization can be explained not only as a response to the challenging environmental, political and economic circumstances, but also as a crucial element of cultural conservatism.

While the general scientific narration concerning their rise and spread is still very inconsistent and full of interpretative misconceptions, the primary goal of this presentation is to organize the overall discussion on the subject. Basing on the most recent data, my aim is also to provide a reassessment of common assumptions concerning their chronology and geographical distribution.

Initially, the rise of both plain and painted handmade wares was not a uniform process, but rather a series of regional ‘pulses’ and ‘waves’, spreading from various places. Furthermore, it certainly did not cover the whole area of the Bilād al-Shām but appeared in various separate and often completely unrelated areas. To some extent, most of them seem to represent different sets of characteristics, suggesting that the circumstances surrounding the emergence of the ‘new’ pottery tradition were motivated by different factors of varying intensity.”

The seminar will be held on Thursday, 28th October, at 11 am CET on Zoom. To obtain a link, please write to pcma@uw.edu.pl