Katherine Burke on Early Islamic and Crusader Jaffa

May 15, 2015 @ 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm America/Los Angeles Timezone
HSSB 4080
Christine M. Thomas

Talk: “Early Islamic and Crusader Ceramics from Jaffa: Continuity and Change”
Katherine Strange Burke, Archaeology, Near Eastern Studies, UCLA
Sponsored by the Ancient Borderlands RFG, CMES, and the departments of History and Anthropology
Lunch will be served at 11:30 before the talk.


The political transition from Egyptian to Frankish rule at the Mediterranean port of Jaffa at the turn of the twelfth century CE was abrupt. But the ceramic record illustrates strong continuity in regional imports with an increase in imports from Byzantine-controlled areas by the end of the century. As the Kingdom of Jerusalem became entrenched in the Levant, Jaffa’s trading contacts widened. Even after Acre supplanted Jaffa as the port of Jerusalem in 1192, Jaffa seems to have retained much of its importance as an importer of fine tablewares from around the Mediterranean, and of grain from the Black Sea.

Dr. Burke has researched, excavated, and traveled in Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and Turkey.  As the medievalist for the Jaffa Cultural Heritage Project, has been constructing a ceramic typology of Jaffa for the Early Islamic and Crusader periods, using the previously unpublished finds, supported by grants from the NEH, the Fondation Max van Berchem, and the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology. Her book, “The Sheikh’s House at Quseir al-Qadim: Documenting a Thirteenth-century Red Sea Port” is forthcoming from the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago.