Technology, Tradition and Survival: Aspects of Material Culture in the Middle East and Central Asia

Technology, Tradition and Survival: Aspects of Material Culture in the Middle East and Central Asia

Technology, Tradition and Survival: Aspects of Material Culture in the Middle East and Central Asia

Technology, Tradition and Survival: Aspects of Material Culture in the Middle East and Central Asia

Synopsis

This volume seems to promote a wider knowledge of traditional technologies in the Middle East and Central Asia. The contributors address three related themes.

Excerpt

The present volume arises from the papers given and discussions held during two international conferences on 'Material Cultures of the Middle East and Central Asia', held at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), London University, in the mid-1990s. The conferences were sponsored by The Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO), Rabat, Morocco, and the Centre of Near and Middle Eastern Studies (CNMES) at SOAS.

The two conferences were designed to underline the skills in material culture in the Islamic Middle East and Central Asia with special reference to the innovation and diffusion of technology in energy, architecture, navigation and hydrology. Nomadic pastoralist, cultivator and urban systems were also reviewed. Overall, the meetings gave a new assessment of the roles of the Arabic, Persian and Turkic linguistic/cultural areas together with the Central Asian, Afghan and Caucasian regions as centres for innovation and diffusion of technologies in the Islamic period.

Studies of the material culture of these peoples augmented parallel debates in SOAS on culinary practices and the meanings of dress in society, the former published as Sami Zubaida and Richard Tapper (eds), Culinary Cultures of the Middle East (London: I.B. Tauris, 1994) and the latter as Nancy Lindisfarne and Bruce Ingham (eds), Languages of Dress in the Middle East (London: Curzon, 1997).

Transliteration into English has been standardized to a consistent system wherever possible, but the preferences of individual authors have been accepted in a number of cases of regional place and personal names.

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