Volubilis: Between Romans, Awraba and Idris I

Episode 2

       Volubilis: Between Romans, Awraba and Idris I 


Volubilis is famous for its mosaics and its bronze statues, but its medieval past is much less well known. In this lecture, Dr. Elizabeth Fentress, Archaeologist, Honorary Visiting Professor at University College London and creator of Fasti Online discusses findings from excavations carried out between 2000 and 2005 by the Moroccan Institut National des Sciences de l'Archéologie et du Patrimoine and University College London. Seeking to understand the medieval period, during which we know that Idris I, the founder of the Idrisid dynasty, was based at the site then known as Walili, the excavations revealed two remarkable building complexes, both of the late eighth century. One was a Berber town, with stone-built, rectangular houses, and the other the headquarters of Idris, composed of large courtyard structures built around one of the earliest bath buildings, or hammams, in North Africa. This podcast describes the excavations in detail, and concentrates on the differences between those two communities. It should be listened to with the slides (below), which are essential to understanding the site. 

The lecture, part of the Languages & Societies in the Maghrib lecture series, was recorded for the Centre d'Études Maghrébines en Algérie (CEMA) in Algiers, Algeria on 12 September 2017.

Download the Podcast:  Feed  / iTunes / Podbean

We thank Dr. Jonathan Glasser, Cultural Anthropologist at the College of William & Mary for his istikhbar in sika on viola for the introduction and conclusion of this podcast.

Realization and editing:  Hayet Lansari, Librarian, Outreach Coordinator, Content Curator (CEMA).


Suggested Readings

Akkeraz, Aomar. 1998. "Recherches sur les niveaux islamiques de Volubilis." In: Patrice Cressier and Mercedes Garcia-Arenal, Eds. Genèse de la ville islamique en al-Andaluset au Maghreb occidentale. Madrid: Casa de Velázquez. 

Fentress, Elizabeth. 2013. "Reconsidering Islamic Houses in the Maghreb." In: Sonia Gutiérez Lloret and Ignasi Grau Mira, Eds. De la estructura doméstica al espacio social. Lecturas arqueológicas del uso social del espacio. Alicante: Universitat d'Alacant.  

Fentress, Elizabeth and Hassan Limane. 2006. "Nouvelles données sur l’occupation islamique àVolubilisL’Africa Romana (XVI): 2223–44.

Guichard, Pierre. 1998. "Les villes islamiques aux premiers siècles de leur histoire." In: Patrice Cressier et Mercedes García Arenal, Eds. Genèse de la ville islamique en al-Andalus et au Maghreb occidental, Madrid: Casa de Velázquez. 
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