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Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology

 

 

Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology & the Ancient World
Brown University
Box 1837 / 60 George Street
Providence, RI 02912
Telephone: (401) 863-3188
Fax: (401) 863-9423
[email protected]

Babylon (also known as Old Cairo), the Roman fortress turned Coptic settlement around which the Arab city of al-Fustat was built. Most of the fortress was left intact, the exception being the northern wall which was removed for use as building material and to better integrate the structure into the city. The Arabs chose this location for their capital city in part because of the prime location of the fort; because of its positioning, all trade and transport was forced to pass through the fortress in order to travel to other parts of Egypt, which was both economically and militarily advantgeous.


Posted at Nov 30/2010 04:08PM:
ian: Its take-over by the Coptic community had an important symbolic role in laying claim to those sites where their domination had been enacted. That it remained largely in their hands under the Muslim armies was a big deal in demonstrating that they were still part of this landscape.