Synopses & Reviews
This companion volume to the exhibit 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 highlights 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.