Muslims, Christians, and Jews in Old Cairo cover 

Edited by Tasha Vorderstrasse and Tanya Treptow

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This companion volume to the exhibit of the same name examines the multicultural city of Fustat, capital of medieval Egypt and predecessor to modern Cairo. It explores the interactions of Muslim, Christian, and Jewish communities within urban city life. These three communities practiced their own beliefs and enacted communal self-government, but they also intermingled on a daily basis and practiced shared traditions of life. Essays by leading scholars examine the different religions and languages found at Fustat, as well as cultural aspects of daily life such as food, industry, and education. The lavishly illustrated catalog presents a new analysis of the Oriental Institute’s collection of artifacts and textual materials from 7th through 12th-century Egypt. Highlights include documents from the Cairo Genizah (a document repository) of the Ben Ezra Synagogue as well as never-before-published artifacts from archaeological excavations conducted at Fustat by George Scanlon on behalf of the American Research Center in Egypt. The volume encourages discussion on the challenges of understanding religion through objects of daily life.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Reconstructing Everyday Life at Fustat. Tasha Vorderstrasse and Tanya Treptow
1. The Muslim Community of Fustat. Jonathan M. Bloom
2. The Oriental Institute Genizah Documents: A Glimpse of Jewish Life in Medieval Cairo. Michael G. Wechsler and Tasha Vorderstrasse
3. Christians of Fustat in the First Three Centuries of Islam: The Making of a New Society. Audrey Dridi
4. Fustat and Its Governor: Administering the Province. Arietta Papaconstantinou
5. Industries, Manufacturing, and Labor. Maya Schatzmiller
6. Linguistic Diversity at Fustat. Tasha Vorderstrasse
7. Childhood at Fustat: Archaeological and Textual Sources. Tasha Vorderstrasse
8. From Fustat to Palestine: Identifying Fatimid Jewelry Using the Genizah Documents from the Ben Ezra Synagogue. Ayala Lester
9. Fustat: The Town, Its Inhabitants, Their Food. Paulina Lewicka
10. Observations on Antiquities in Later Contexts. Vanessa Davies
11. Fustat to Cairo: An Essay on “Old Cairo.” Donald Whitcomb
12. A History of Excavations at Fustat. Tanya Treptow
Concordance of Museum Registration Numbers
Checklist of the Exhibit

  • Oriental Institute Museum Publications 38
  • Chicago: The Oriental Institute, 2015
  • ISBN-13: 978-1-61491-026-8
  • Pp. 232; 185 illustrations
  • 9 x 11.5 inches, paperback
  • $29.95

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