This Year’s Seminar

The 2017 Seminar for Arabian Studies

This year’s Seminar for Arabian Studies will take place at the British Museum from Friday 4th August to Sunday 6th August 2017. See the latest draft programme .

Registration: The easiest way to register for the Seminar is by completing this short online form: Online Registration form .

Details of how to submit the form and pay the registration fee are shown on the form. 

You can also download the form to register to attend this year’s Seminar in PDF format here .  Details of how to submit the PDF form and pay the registration fee are shown on the form.

Accommodation: Click here for a list of accommodation suggestions.  Note that very economical accommodation can be found in the various university hostels shown at the bottom of the list.  The Seminar does not have special arrangements with any of the hotels or hostels listed.

2017 Special Session

To celebrate the completion of Phase 2 of the Online Corpus of the Inscriptions of Ancient North Arabia in March 2017, the forthcoming Seminar for Arabian Studies will include a Special Session on “Languages, scripts and their uses in ancient North Arabia“. Ancient Arabia had its own branch of the alphabet and almost certainly a greater proportion of its population could read and write than in any other part of the ancient world. This Special Session will explore the many different uses the inhabitants of ancient Arabia made of their literacy, the development of the various scripts which they employed, and what we can reconstruct of the languages they spoke.

This year’s MBI lecture

Professor Trevor Marchand: Yemen’s Architectural Heritage In Peril
Yemen possesses one of the world’s finest treasure-troves of architecture, displaying a wondrous array of vernacular styles. Three of its ancient cities – Shibam, Ṣan‘ā’ and Zabīd – are UNESCO World Heritage sites, and a number of other towns and building complexes around the country await inclusion on that list. Each urban setting possesses a distinct ‘sense of place’, resulting from a mixture of native ingenuity, available construction materials, social relations, religious practices and local histories. Conflict and resistance, too, have contributed significantly to the history of Yemeni building design, town planning and civil engineering. The current hydra-headed conflict, however, involving international adversaries divided along political and sectarian lines, poses a threat of unprecedented scale to the country’s architectural heritage. The lecture will take stock of the damage incurred as well as some of the current efforts to safeguard buildings and to sustain conservation programmes. It will also address factors – in addition to military conflict – that represent perhaps more enduring challenges to the survival of Yemen’s architecture and traditional building practices.

The 2016 Seminar

The 50th Seminar for Arabian Studies was held on Friday 29th, Saturday 30th, and Sunday 31st July 2016 at the British Museum, London.

The Special Session for 2016 was “Textiles and Personal Adornment in the Arabian Peninsula“. Other featured subject areas include Pre-Historic and Islamic Archaeology, History and Ethnography, and papers on late pre-Islamic Arabia.

The programme for the 2016 Seminar is available here: Seminar 2016 Programme FINAL.

Abstracts of papers presented in 2016:

Special Session: Textiles and Personal Adornment in the Arabian Peninsula
Session 1: Islamic Archaeology
Session 2: Prehistoric Arabia Part 1
Session 3: Prehistoric Arabia Part 2
Session 4: Prehistoric Arabia Part 3
Session 5: Prehistoric Arabia Part 4
Session 6: History and Ethnography
Session 7: Late Pre-Islamic Arabia
Poster Abstracts: Poster Abstracts



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