powrót do strony głównej
english version

Remarks on stone vessels from Islamic layers in Bijan Island

Marta Mierzejewska


Excavations on Bijan Island in western Iraq were conducted by the Polish Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology, University of Warsaw, in 1979–1983, as part of the international Haditha Dam rescue project. A multi-layered site was uncovered, featuring complex architectural structures and a rich archaeological assemblage. Four main settlement phases were distinguished: Neo-Assyrian, Parthian, Roman and early Islamic. The present paper focuses on stone vessels attesting to extensive use of stone for utility purposes. The assemblage complements knowledge about the inhabitants of early Islamic Bijan and their economic activities.


stone lamps, Bijan, soft stone / soapstone / steatite vessels, Abbasid, Nishapur


Becker, A. (1999). Tonlampen. In P.A. Miglus, Ar-Raqqa I. Die frühislamische Keramik von Tall Aswad (pp. 55–75). Mainz am Rheim: Philipp von Zabern

Gawlikowski, M. (1983). L’île de Bidjan, forteresse assyrienne et romaine. Archéologia, 178, 26–33

Gawlikowski, M. (1985). Bijan in the Euphrates. Sumer, 42, 15–21

Hardy-Guilbert, C. and Le Maguer, S. (2010). Chihr de l’encens (Yémen). Arabian Archaeology and Epigraphy, 21(1), 46–70

Huckle, M. (2003). A unique soft-stone tri-compartmentalised vessel (probably from Wa’ab 4, in the Wadi al-Qawr, Ras al-Khaimah, U.A.E.). Arabian Archaeology and Epigraphy, 14(1), 58–62

Iraq Government, Department of Antiquities. (1940). Excavations at Samarra: 1936–1939, II. Objects. Baghdad: The Government Press

Kennet, D. (2013). Kadhima: Kuwait in the early centuries of Islam. Kuwait: National Council for Culture, Arts and Letters of the State of Kuwait; Durham University

Kepinski, C., Lecomte, O., and Tenu, A. (2006). Studia Euphratica: le moyen Euphrate iraquien révélé par les fouilles préventives de Haditha [=Travaux de la Maison René-Ginouvès 3]. Paris: De Boccard

Kervran, M. (1984). Les niveaux islamiques du secteur oriental du tépé de l’Apadana III. Les objets en verre, en pierre et en métal. Cahiers de la Délégation Archéologique Française en Iran, 14, 211–235

Kołodziejczyk, K. (1966). Problem ceramiki chrześcijańskiej z Nubii [The problem of the Christian pottery from Nubia]. Rocznik Muzeum Narodowego w Warszawie, 10, 83–98 [in Polish]

Krogulska, M. (1987). Bijan. Archiv für Orientforschung, 34, 155–156

Krogulska, M. (1990). Bijan (Iraq). PAM, 1, 10–13

Krogulska, M. (1992). Bijan Island. Polish excavations on the Middle Euphrates (Iraq). EtTrav, 16, 353–362

Krogulska, M. and Stępniowski, F.M. (1995). Bidżan – polskie wykopaliska w Iraku w latach 1979–1983 [Bijan – Polish excavations in Iraq in 1979–1983]. In M.L. Bernhard (ed.), Od Nilu do Eufratu: polska archeologia śródziemnomorska 1981–1994 (pp. 127–134). Warsaw: Uniwersytet Warszawski, Centrum Archeologii Śródziemnomorskiej im. prof. Kazimierza Michałowskiego [in Polish]

Kubiak, W.B. (1970). Medieval ceramic oil lamps from Fusṭāṭ. Ars Orientalis, 8, 1–18

Labrousse, A. and Boucharlat, R. (1972). La fouille du palais du Chaour à Suse en 1970 et 1971. Cahiers de la Délégation Archéologique Française en Iran, 2, 61–167

Laureys-Chachy, R. (2010). The stone artifacts. In O. Gutfeld, Ramla: Final report on the excavations north of the White Mosque [=Qedem 51] (pp. 303–324). Jerusalem: Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Le Maguer, S. (2011). Typology of incense-burners of the Islamic period. Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies, 41, 173–185

Le Maguer, S. (2013). The soft stone from Kadhima: evidence for trade connections and domestic activities. In D. Kennet, Kadhima: Kuwait in the early centuries of Islam (pp. 51–54). Kuwait: National Council for Culture, Arts and Letters of the State of Kuwait; Durham University

Melikian-Chirvani, A.S. (1974). The white bronzes of early Islamic Iran. Metropolitan Museum Journal, 9, 123–151

Mierzejewska, M. (2014). Abbasid basins from Bijan Island. PAM, 23/1, 643–662

Mikati, R. and Whitcomb, D. (2006). Cuboid and other incense burners from the excavations of the Islamic period. In Clay cuboid incense burners of the Islamic period [=Silk Roadology 25] (pp. 199–205). Nara: The Nara International Foundation, Commemorating the Silk Road Exposition

Northedge, A. (1988). Middle Sasanian to Islamic pottery and stone vessels. In A. Northedge, A. Bamber, and M. Roaf, Excavations at ʻĀna: Qalʻa island [=Iraq Archaeological Reports 1] (pp. 76–114). Warminster: Aris & Phillips

Northedge, A. (2006). The Islamic period in the Haditha Dam area. In C. Kepinski, O. Lecomte, and A. Tenu, Studia Euphratica: le moyen Euphrate iraquien révélé par les fouilles préventives de Haditha [=Travaux de la Maison René-Ginouvès 3] (pp. 397–415). Paris: De Boccard

Petersen, A. (1994). The archaeology of the Syrian and Iraqi Hajj routes. World Archaeology, 26(1), 47–56

Potts, D.T. (2008). An Umm an-Nar-type compartmented soft-stone vessel from Gonur Depe, Turkmenistan. Arabian Archaeology and Epigraphy, 19(2), 168–181

Poulsen, V. (1957). Les poteries. In P.J. Riis and V. Poulsen, Hama: fouilles et recherches de la Fondation Carlsberg (1931–1938) IV.2. Les verreries et poteries médiévales [=Nationalmuseets skrifter. Større beretninger 3] (pp. 117–283). Copenhague: Nationalmuseet

Reiche, A. (1996). Early Islamic glass from the Abbasid level on Bijan Island (Iraq). In K. Bartl and S.R. Hauser (eds), Continuity and change in Northern Mesopotamia from the Hellenistic to the early Islamic period: Proceedings of a colloquium held at the Seminar für Vorderasiatische Altertumskunde, Freie Universität Berlin, 6th–9th April 1994 [=Berliner Beiträge zum Vorderen Orient 17] (pp. 195–217). Berlin: Reimer

Whitcomb, D. (1988). Khirbet al-Mafjar reconsidered: the ceramic evidence. BASOR, 271, 51–67

Whitcomb, D. (2001). Hadir Qinnasrin. In The Oriental Institute 2000–20001 annual report (pp. 69–76). Retrieved from http://oi.uchicago.edu/sites/oi.uchicago.edu/files/uploads/shared/docs/ar/01-10/00-01/00-01_Qinnasrin.pdf [accessed: 15.04.2016]

Wilkinson, C.K. (1944). Heating and cooking in Nishapur. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin. New Series, 2(10), 282–291

Wilkinson, C.K. (1959). The kilns of Nishapur. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin. New Series, 17(9), 235–240

Zutterman, C. (2004). The softstone vessels from Qarn Bint Sa’ud, Abu Dhabi (U.A.E.). Arabian Archaeology and Epigraphy, 15(1), 105–114

Objects from the Metropolitan Museum of Art On-line Collection:

Accession No. 36.20.6 http://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/449040 [accessed: 4.05.2016]

Accession No. 36.20.20 http://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/449054 [accessed: 4.05.2016]

Accession No. 38.40.116 http://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/449328 [accessed: 4.05.2016]

Accession No. 39.40.35 http://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/449569 [accessed: 4.05.2016]

Accession No. 39.40.36 http://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/449570 [accessed: 4.05.2016]

Accession No. 40.170.691 http://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/449328 [accessed: 4.05.2016]

Accession No. 46.90.2 http://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/450709 [accessed: 4.05.2016]