Land behind Mosul: settlement, landscape and material culture of the Islamic period in Northern Iraq
Summary of the project
The project “Land behind Mosul: settlement, landscape and material culture of the Islamic period in Northern Iraq” is a specific research chapter within the “Land of Nineveh Archaeological Project” conducted by the “Missione Archeologica Italiana in Assiria” (MAIA) of the University of Udine. In this context, the University Ca’ Foscari of Venice is in charge of the study of the Islamic period.
The main objective of the “Land behind Mosul” Project is to study settlement dynamics, material culture, land and resources management of a large area located north-east of Mosul, from the Arab conquest to the end of the Ottoman period.
An import role in the definition of the settlement and in the chronological attribution of occupational phases during the Islamic period will be played by the analysis of the material culture.
Starting from the data provided by this study, the project “Land behind Mosul” will develop two lines of research:
- Study of the hydraulic landscape and water mills: this part of the project will include the architectural and topographic survey of selected structures and their archaeological analysis based on clearance and excavation operations. The hydraulic system supplying the region will be investigated and a distribution map of the mills will be produced.
- Tell Gomel excavations: archaeological surveys conducted in the past years have confirmed the key role played by this settlement in the region and have shown the extent and the complexity of the occupation in the Islamic period. The archaeological excavation of some soundings, focused on the deposit of this period, will make it possible to understand the nature and sequence of the settlement during the various Islamic phases and to create a chrono-typology of reference for ceramic materials, at present still lacking for this region.
The study of the ceramic assemblage of the Islamic period from the recently completed survey project (2012-2017) is currently being studied.
An important part of the “Land behind Mosul”project is devoted to the study of written sources.
Enrico Reali: architectural survey
Cristina Tonghini (Università Ca’ Foscari di Venezia): scientific coordinator for the study of the Islamic period; co-supervisor for the study of the ceramic assemblage of the Islamic period
Valentina Vezzoli (IFPO, Beirut): co-supervisor for the study of the ceramic assemblage of the Islamic period
Vittorio Berti (Università degli Studi di Padova): Syriac sources;
Miroslav Melčák (Akademie věd České republiky): Arabic sources;
Onur Usta (Canakkale Onsekiz Mart University): Ottoman sources.