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The Architecture and Art of Alexandria and its Influence in Petra, Jerusalem and Damascus

7th June 2009

Jointly with the Council for British Research in the Levant

Judith McKenzie, University of Oxford

 

Lecture abstract

This lecture focuses on the role of major monuments in Jordan, Palestine and Syria in preserving the lost architecture of Alexandria from the first century BC until after the Arab conquest. Just as an indication of the lost architecture of Ptolemaic Alexandria survives in complete compositions at Petra (as on the Khasneh); so too the architecture and art of Alexandria in later periods is reflected in buildings such as the Great Mosque in Damascus and the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem.

Judith McKenzie undertook her field work at Petra (living in a cave on site) whilst an annual scholar of the British School of Archaeology in Jerusalem and her research led to the publication of The Architecture of Petra (Oxford 1990, repr. 2005). Her experience while staying in Petra and subsequently at the British Institute in Amman led to her work on The Architecture of Alexandria and Egypt 300 BC-AD 700, Pelican History of Art (Yale University Press, London 2007).

Judith McKenzie is a member of the Sub-faculty of Archaeology, University of Oxford. She has also held positions at the Universities of Sydney and London, and been a member of the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton. Her current research focuses on the art and architecture of Alexandria and its influence in the eastern Mediterranean in the Byzantine and early Islamic periods; and Nabataean architecture, sculpture and religion, especially at Petra and Khirbet et-Tannur.

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