Omani Towns: Tradition of the Desert and the Sea
On Tuesday 2nd July 2019, ArCHIAM’s Director Prof Soumyen Bandyopadhyay lectured on “Omani Towns: Tradition of the Desert and the Sea” at the National Museum Oman.
The history of the Arabian Peninsula has often been conceptualised in terms of a duality that once existed between a ‘cosmopolitan’ coast and the more ‘introspective’ interior – between a core and a periphery. Such dualities are overly simplistic and do not bring out the spectrum of relationships that prevailed and exchanges that took place between settlements and peoples. The lecture explored the role of coastal hinterland settlements in how these played a crucial role in facilitating such exchanges. Bawshar is typical of interstitial settlement conditions that once existed across the Gulf region, facilitating exchange between the interior oasis settlements and the coastal ports and towns.
As part of the lecture, Prof Bandyopadhyay presented the pedagogic material on Architectural and Urban Forms of the Islamic World produced in partnership with the Aga Khan Trust for Culture. This open access lecture series aims to present a comparative picture of urban and architectural form across the vast geographical region commonly referred to as the Islamic World.