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Ian Straughn

Islamic Archaeology

Archaeology and Religion

Islamic Landscapes

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]

Posted at Apr 29/2007 04:22PM:
Zöe: Utum (pl: atam) are fortified tower-like town houses found in the pre-Islamic settlements in the Hijaz (e.g. Yathrib and Mecca). Each tribe has its own atam that it could retreat to in times of strife. The utum are physical representations of the tribe-based social structures of these early settlements and towns. (see Whitcomb 1996:42-4)