Professor of African and Islamic Archaeology
Insoll, T. (with other contributions) 2005. The Land of Enki in the Islamic Era. Pearls, Palms, and Religious Identity in Bahrain. London: Kegan Paul. 566 pp.

Insoll, T. (with other contributions) 2005. The Land of Enki in the Islamic Era. Pearls, Palms, and Religious Identity in Bahrain. London: Kegan Paul. 566 pp.

An Arabic summary is available as a PDF.

Obtainable from www.amazon.com

This book presents the results of research and fieldwork in Bahrain which had as its primary aim the investigation of the little understood period between the 6th-13th centuries AD. All aspects of the excavated material are considered in detail. However this volume provides more than a presentation of primary archaeological data, and subjects such as the role of trade and commerce in creating the complex history manifest in the Arabian Gulf region are discussed, as are religious and other identities, including ethnicity, caste, and gender. The growth and impact of the Carmathians, the evolution of Shi’ah identity, the significance of Indian and African populations are all evaluated using a multi-disciplinary approach drawing upon archaeology, history, and ethnography. Extracts of reviews include:

  • Paulo Farias writing for the Crown Prince Court of Bahrain and the Bahrain National Museum (Jan 2006) states that the book, “is a model of what the best kind of historical archaeology can achieve. By applying sophisticated theoretical insights to a wealth of empirical evidence, it offers to the world of scholarship a superb resource for understanding Early and Middle Islamic Bahrain”.
  • Søren Andersen in the Bulletin of the Society for Arabian Studies (2006, p.50) writes that, “the book presents a refreshing contribution to the archaeology of Bahrain and eastern Arabia and provides what is badly needed to increase our understanding of the material culture of the Islamic periods: more data and discussion”.