Universiteit Leiden

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New archaeological perspectives on an Arabian oasis in Islamic periods

  • Dr Stephen McPhillips
Wednesday 29 November 2023
Van Steenis
Einsteinweg 2
2333 CC Leiden
Bakelszaal (A2.02a)
The site of Khaybar. Copyright: Khaybar LDAP, K. Guadagnini


Khaybar, one of the largest and best watered oases in the Arabian Peninsula preserves a rich and little-known archaeological landscape. Probably the “Khibrā” of the Harran inscription of the last neo-Babylonian ruler Nabonidus, referring to his time in Arabia in the 6th century BCE, it is renowned in Islamic historiography as the site of the battle of 7 AH/ 628 CE, the first victory of the Arab Muslim armies. Aside from the enduring fame of its dates, its later history is far less clear.

Now new research in Khaybar has begun to reveal more about how shifts in settlement and land use from the 7th century CE reflected changing geopolitical and economic trends in Arabia and beyond, with the appearance of new urban and religious
features, and innovations in land use and hydro-agricultural practices which endured until recent times.

This lecture is brought to you by the CNRS Khaybar Longue Durée Archaeological Project, French Agency for AlUla Development and the Royal Commission for AlUla.

The lecture is followed by drinks.

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