Monasteries, Cities, Settlements – al-Hira and Early Islamic Urbanism in Mesopotamia

Martin Gussone's picture
December 17, 2018 to December 18, 2018
Subject Fields: 
Arabic History / Studies, Archaeology, Architecture and Architectural History, Islamic History / Studies, Middle East History / Studies

"Monasteries, Cities, Settlements – al-Hira and Early Islamic Urbanism in Mesopotamia"


Funded by Fritz Thyssen Stiftung


MONDAY 17.12.2018

Venue: TU Berlin, Architekturgebäude, Straße des 17. Juni 152, Forum Architektur, 1st Floor


9:00–9:15 Welcome


Dean Prof. Dr. Johann Köppel (TU Berlin, Fakultät 6 – School of Planning, Building and Environment)

Dr. Dr. hc. Margarete van Ess (DAI Berlin)

Muhammad Bidan (State Board of Antiquities and Heritage, Iraq)


9:15–10:45 Introduction and Historical Context


PD Dr. Martina Müller-Wiener (Museum für Islamische Kunst, Berlin)

Early Islamic Urbanism in Mesopotamia - Introduction


Prof. Dr. Isabelle Toral-Niehoff (FU Berlin)

Al-Hira as reflected in the written sources. The state of the question


Dr. Hasan al-Hakim (Najaf)

Religions in Pre-Islamic and Early-Islamic Hira


10:45–11:00 Discussion

Coffee break 11:00–11:30


11:30–13:00 al-Hira - Recent Research


Diya Makki al Talanki (State Board of Antiquities and Heritage, Najaf)

Results of the excavations in al-Hira 2007–2011: Ceramics


Muhammad Bidan (State Board of Antiquities and Heritage, Najaf)

Recent large scale rescue excavations of ancient al-Hira: overview


Dr.-Ing. des. Martin Gussone (TU Berlin)

Settlement research on al-Hira based on surface survey, magnetometer prospection and aerial photograph interpretation


13:00–13:30 Discussion


13:30–15:00 Lunch break


15:00–16:00 al-Hira - Recent Research


Abdul Razzaq Alesi

Churches in al-Hira


Prof. Dr. Barbara Finster (Bamberg)

The churches of al-Qusair in the context of Mesopotamian church-architecture


16:00–16:30 Discussion



19:00 Evening Lecture (Berliner Kolloquium. baugeschichte - bauforschung - denkmalpflege)

Welcome: Prof. Dr.-Ing. Thekla Schulz-Brize (TU Berlin, FG Historische Bauforschung und Baudenkmalpflege)

Venue: TU Berlin, Architekturgebäude, Straße des 17. Juni 152, Lecture hall A 053


Dr. Dr. hc. Margarete van Ess, Deutsches Archäologisches Institut – Orient Abteilung;

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Christof Ziegert, ZRS Ingenieure Berlin)

Preservation of the Iraqi archaeological architectural heritage. Current conservation projects in Uruk (southern Iraq)



TUESDAY, 18.12.2018

Venue: Archäologisches Zentrum (Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin – Preußischer Kulturbesitz), Geschwister Scholl Str. 6, Brugsch-Pascha Saal




Prof. Dr. Stefan Weber (Museum für Islamische Kunst, Berlin)



Early Islamic Urbanism in Mesopotamia: Perspectives


Prof. Dr. Karel Novaçek (Palacky University, Olomouc)

Monastic landscape of Adiabene


Dr.-Ing. Ulrike Siegel (DAI Berlin)

Recent prospections in Tulul al-Ukhaidir


Prof. Dr. Andrew Petersen (University of Wales Trinity Saint David)

Old-Basra, New Plan – The evolution of an Early Islamic City


11:30-12:00 Discussion


12:00-13:00 Lunch Break



Andrea Luigi Corsi, (Sapienza University of Rome)

Regional and transregional exchanges: Comparing Late Umayyad and Early Abbasid stucco productions to the finds from al-Hira


Dr. Marie-Odile Rousset (Laboratoire Archéorient, Lyon)

Al-Hira viewed from Late antique and early Islamic Syria 


PD Dr. Arnulf Hausleiter (DAI Berlin)

Arabian origins? Tracing early Islamic urbanism


14:30-15:00 Discussion



Round Table Coffee Break with final discussion and concluding remarks


Contact Info: 

Workshop organised by:

Museum für Islamische Kunst

Staatliche Museen zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz

Geschwister-Scholl-Straße 6

D-10117 Berlin


Deutsches Archäologisches Institut (DAI)


Podbielski-Allee 69-71

D-14195 Berlin


Technische Universität Berlin (TU Berlin)

FG Historische Bauforschung und Baudenkmalpflege

Straße des 17.Juni 152

D-10623 Berlin