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Glazed Ifriqiyyan ceramics from the Hafsid period from the site of Kom el-Dikka in Alexandria

Anna Zawadzińska


The pottery collection presented in this article comes from the excavations of a medieval Islamic cemetery discovered at the Kom el Dikka site in Alexandria, Egypt. The described set represents only a small fraction of an assemblage consisting of ceramics imported from the then known world. Hafsid pottery is easily distinguished thanks to a characteristic palette of colors: brown and blue patterns painted on a creamy-white background. The decoration repertoire can be divided into the following main groups of motifs: zoomorphic, floral, geometric and pseudo-epigraphic. The archaeological evidence is insufficient to support a periodization of this collection; dating is suggested on the grounds of a stylistic analysis of the decoration compared with dated parallels from excavations on the citadel in Tunis and the bacini preserved in Italian cathedrals.


Alexandria, Kom el-Dikka, Hafsid ceramics, glazed Ifriqiyyan ware


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