Director of the Khalili Research Centre; Professor of the Art & Archaeology of the Islamic Mediterranean; Fellow of Wolfson College, Oxford, UK.
Archaeology and history of material culture in the Islamic Mediterranean, with special interest in Sicily and Jordan.
I am principally interested in relations between Muslim and Christian societies in the medieval Mediterranean as manifested in material and visual culture. My research has focused upon the archaeology of the transition from late antiquity to early Islam in the Levant and, especially, upon the archaeology, history and art history of Sicily under Islamic and Norman rule, from the Muslims\' conquest of the island in the 9th century to the destruction of the Islamic community of Sicily by Frederick II in the 13th century.
Follow the links below for further details of some my current projects:
The Arabic Documents of Norman Sicily
The Painted Ceilings of the Cappella Palatina, Palermo
Early Islamic rock crystal
Ancient Arabia: Languages and Cultures
OCIANA: Online Corpus of Inscriptions of Ancient North Arabia
\'Alexander in the Cappella Palatina\', forthcoming in a colleague\'s Festschrift.
\'Muslim Artists and Christian Models in the Painted Ceilings of the Cappella Palatina\', forthcoming in Rosa Bacile and John McNeil (eds.), Romanesque and the Eastern Mediterranean, British Archaeological Association, International Romanesque Conference, Palermo, 16–18 April 2012, Maney Publishing, London, 2014.
\'Muslim artists, Christian patrons and the painted ceilings of the Cappella Palatina (Palermo, Sicily, circa 1143 A.D.\', forthcoming in Hadeeth ad-Dar (D?r al-Ath?r al-Islam?ya, Kuwait)
\'Arabic Inscriptions in the Cappella Palatina: Performativity, Audience, Legibility and Illegibility\', in Antony Eastmond and Elizabeth James (eds.), Viewing texts: Inscriptions as image and ornament in the Late Antique and Medieval Mediterranean, Cambridge University Press, forthcoming 2014. View pre-print here
(with Nadia Jamil), \'A new Latin-Arabic document from Norman Sicily (November 595H/1198CE)\', forthcoming in a colleague\'s Festschrift.
(with Elise Morero et alii), \'The carving and polishing techniques of Fatimid rock crystal ewers (10th–12th cent. A.D.)\', forthcoming in Craft and People: Proceedings of the International Conference, British Museum, 1–2 November 2012.
(with Elise Morero) \'The Diffusion of Rock Crystal Carving Techniques in the F??imid Mediterranean\', paper delivered to Beyond the Western Mediterranean: Materials, Techniques and Artistic Production, The Courtauld Institute of Art, Saturday 20 April, 2013.
(with Elise Morero et alii), \'Carving techniques of Fatimid rock crystal ewers (10–12th cent. A.D.)\', Wear, 301 (2013) 150–156.
\'A bronze pillar lampstand from Petralia Sottana, Sicily\', in Venetia Porter and Mariam Rosser-Owen (eds), Metalwork and Material Culture in the Islamic World. Art, Craft and Text. Essays presented to James W. Allan, London, 2012, pp. 283–300.
(with Vera von Falkenhausen), \'An Arabic-Greek charter for Archbishop Nicholas of Messina, November 1166\', in Lisa Bénou and Cristina Rognoni (eds.), ?????? ?????????. Mélanges André Guillou = ??? ????. Rivista di ricerche bizantinistiche, 8 (2011) 153–170.
\'The Bible, the Qur\'?n and the Royal Eunuchs in the Cappella Palatina\', in Thomas Dittelbach (ed.), Die Cappella Palatina in Palermo - Geschichte, Kunst, Funktionen. Forschungsergebnisse der Restaurierung Hg. im Auftrag der Stiftung Würth, Künzelsau: Swiridoff Verlag 2011, pp. 198–216 (German), pp. 413–23 (Italian), pp. 560–70 (English).
\'Le pitture del soffitto della Cappella Palatina\' and \'Iscrizioni arabe nella Cappella Palatina\', in B. Brenk (ed.), La Cappella Palatina a Palermo, (Mirabilia Italiae 17), 4 vols, Modena: Franco Cosimo Panini Editore, 2010, vol. I, Atlante I, figs. 158–194, pp. 133–147, figs. 369–384, pp. 286–303, vol. II, Atlante II, figs. 473–1220, pp. 384–823, vol. III, Saggi, pp. 353–407, vol. IV, Schede, pp. 429–456, 487–510, 540–665.
\'Review article. Islamic archaeology at a difficult age\', Antiquity, December 2010, 84/326, pp. 1187–1191.