Research Unit Islamic Archaeology
Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn
Institut für Orient- und Asienwissenschaften
Abt. Islamwissenschaft und Nahostsprachen
Forschungseinheit Islamische Archäologie
Brühler Straße 7
53119 Bonn
Telefon: +49 228 73 -60237
Fax: +49 228 73 - 60241
E-mail: aia[at]

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Library Opening Hours

Tue, Wed & Thu 11-16
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Prof. Walker

Prof. Dr. Bethany J. Walker


Doctoral Students

Associate Researchers



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Nur Güneş. Dr. des.




This project explores the changing visual vocabulary of Mamluk public art, and namely those elements that came to epitomize the Mamluks’ modes of self-representation: heraldic devices. The combination of blazons and titular inscriptions (used in a heraldic fashion) in decorative registers was the most immediately recognizable element on public buildings – defining the cityscape – and on objects used for official and public display and ceremonial. The visual world thus created by Mamluk sponsored artists was saturated with such images. The Mamluk sultans and their amirs took this imagery of political legitimacy beyond the cities to villages and the frontiers of their territories. These symbols in this way came to express the projection of state power deeper into local society.

The method of analysis will be primarily art historical, although archaeological (spatial) context and reference to contemporary Arabic and Turkish literature will also inform the work.

The goal of this project is to produce a critical work on Mamluk heraldic devices in their social setting: as deliberate visual forms of self-representation of the Mamluk elite, their role in the creation of a Mamluk “popular” visual culture, the institutions behind their production and distribution, and their changing meanings over time. It will be accompanied by a catalog, which includes representative examples of published and available non-published heraldic symbols from different media, produced throughout the Mamluk era.

With the categorization, cataloging and analysis in this manner, it will be possible to make an initial classification of the coat of arms on the basis of art-historical principles, followed by a comparison with designs and styles of other regions. This work can serve as a bridge between Mamluk Studies and the larger fields of Islamic Studies, Islamic Art History, and Central Asian Studies. 


Research stays 


  • 09-10/2018 Research stay in London, Southampton
  • 07-08/2014 Research trip through Andalusia
  • 07-08/2013 Research trip through Turkey
  • 05-06/2013/2014 Registrar at Archaeology Field School in Tall Hisban/Jordan, (Madaba Plains Project)
  • 03/2013 Research stay/trip in Jerusalem, Paris
  • §09/2012 Research stay in Antakya, Bursa, Budapest, Florence


Scholarships/ Academic education  


  • since 12/2016 DFG-Research Grant: „Heraldik und "materielle Kultur" in der Zeit der Mamluken in Ägypten und Syrien
  • since 10/2013 Bonn International Graduate School of Oriental and Asian Studies (BIGS-OAS)
  • 10/2013-10/2015 Graduate Assistance by Prof. Dr. Bethany Walker, built together an       archeological laboratory with a permanent exhibition of ceramics at the
  • Research Group of Islamic Archaeology, University of Bonn
  • 10/2012-09/2013 Scholarship at Annemarie Schimmel Kolleg, University of Bonn
  • 10/2008-07/2011 Master’s Degree, Department of Asian and Islamic Art History: Religious Art in Asia and the Orient: MA Thesis: “Siyah Kalem. Eine wissenschaftsgeschichtliche Spurensuche“, University of Bonn
  • 04/2006-08/2008 Bachelor’s Degree, The Institute of Oriental and Asian Studies: BA. Thesis: Der Khıdır-Kult bei den Nusairiern, University of Bonn




  • 10/2018 Conference “The Second Eurasian Doctoral Colloquium” (Participants from Germany, China, Iran, Japan and Korea)
  • 09/2018 Internal Workshop: “The Medieval Jerusalem Hinterland Project”  
  • 12/2017  International Conference: “Material Culture Methods in the Islamic Middle Periods”
  • 12/2016  International Conference: "Environmental Approaches in Pre-Modern Middle Eastern Studies"
  • 03/2015 International Conference: "The Mamluk-Ottoman Transition. Continuity and Change in Egypt and Bilād al-Shām in the Sixteenth Century"
  • 12/2014 International Conference: "Mamluk Historiography Revisited: narratological perscpectives"
  • 11/2014 International Conference (organized by Dr. Amir Mazor): “Jews in the Ayyubid and Mamluk Periods”
  •  01/2014 Internal Workshop Premodern Material Culture – Postcolonial Perspectives    
  • Since 10/2013 Ulrich Haarmann Memorial Lectures
  • Since 10/2013 International Research Colloquium (Islamic Studies) Workshops
  • 07/2013 International Workshop on “Premodern Art History. Postcolonial Perspectives”
  • 04/2013 Fourth Internal Workshop (in German) in preparation for a conference on New Mamluk Art History
  • 3/2013 Third Internal Workshop (in German) in preparation for a conference on New Mamluk Art History
  • 02/2013 International Workshop Space, Historical Geography and Cartography in Mamluk Studies
  • 01/2013 Second Internal Workshop (in German) in preparation for a conference on Mamluk Art
  • 12/2012 International Conference “Everything is on the Move: “Mamluk Empire” as a Node in (Trans-) Regional Networks”
  • 11/2012 Second Workshop Ghent-Bonn with Dr. Jo van Steenbergen and his group (in Ghent, Belgium)
  • 11/2012 Internal Workshop on Cartography (with a focus on Mamluk areas)
  •  11/2012 Internal Workshop (in German) in preparation for a conference on Mamluk Art and Architecture
  • 10/2012 Workshop with Dr. Jo van Steenbergen and his group (in Bonn)

Events /Season Schools  

  • 09/2017 Fall School: "Science and Technology in the Islamic Middle Periods" [Webinar]
  • 03/2017 Spring School: “Material Culture Methods in Mamluk Studies”
  • 03/2016 Spring School "Environmental Approaches and Islamic Studies"
  • 03/2015 Spring School: Normative Discourses in Pre-Modern Islam
  • 08/2014 Summer School: “Mamluk Manuscript Culture”
  • 03/2014 Spring School: “The History and Society of the Mamluk Empire, 1250-1517”
  • 09/2013 Fall School: “Pre-Modern Global History”
  • 05/2014-06/2014 Organization, Registrar at the Archaeology Field School in Tall Hisban, Jordan (Madaba Plains Project)
  • 05-06/2013 Registrar at Archaeology Field School in Tall Hisban/Jordan (Madaba Plains Project)
  • 05/2013-06/2013 Archaeology Field School: Tall Hisban, Jordan


Professional Experience 

  •  since 01/2013 Team Member of Review Journal  Sehepunkte: „Islamische Welten“