Ottoman Explorations of the Nile and Evliya Çelebi

Jo Salisbury Book Notes Leave a Comment

The trust library was delighted to receive as a gift the newly published Ottoman Explorations of the Nile : Evliya Çelebi’s ‘Matchless Pearl These Reports of the Nile’ map and his accounds of the Nile and the Horn of Africa in The Book of Travels by Robert Dankoff, Nuran Tezcan and Michael D. Sheridan.  This is a new, revised and expanded English edition of the 2010 Turkish publication, which first contextualises Çelebi’s elaborate map of the Nile and his account of his Nile journeys in Volume 10 of his Seyahatname (The Books of Travels) and then presents both the map and travel account in an English translation.  The book is the third in the Royal Asiatic Society‘s Ibrahim Pasha of Egypt Fund Series, published in collaboration with the Gingko Library and includes a folded, colour copy of the complete map of the Nile (held in the Vatican Library; Vat. Turc. 73).

As the preface states, these two documents attest to “the most ambitious effort, before the time of Napoleon…to explore and map out the Nile…undertaken by the Ottomans – circa 1685 – and both apparently by the same man.” (Preface, x).

The book can be accessed for reference in AIIT’s library, shelfmark: AIIT.a.1972



Lahore symposium booklet now available

Munizha Ahmad-Cooke News 2 Comments

We are pleased to make available the summaries of talks given at the symposium The History of Lahore and the Preservation of its Historic Buildings, held in Cambridge in October 2017 and organised by AIIT trustee Sir Nicholas Barrington and Dr Abdul Majid Sheikh. The booklet provides informal summaries of the talks as drafted by the speakers themselves, together with pictures of the main monuments discussed. It is planned that an academic volume of the proceedings will be published by the British Association for South Asian Studies, probably in 2020. …

Studies in the Chronology of the Bactrian Documents from Northern Afghanistan

Ursula Sims-Williams Book Notes Leave a Comment

On Friday 25 May we celebrated the publication of Studies in the Chronology of the Bactrian Documents from Northern Afghanistan by our Chairman Nicholas Sims-Williams and François de Blois. Following the presentation of the book, Joe Cribb, AIIT trustee and former Keeper of Coins and Medals at the British Museum, gave an exciting lecture ‘Constructing Kushan chronology: Bactria and Gandhara 1st-4th century AD’. More than 150 documents in Bactrian, the chief administrative language of pre-Islamic Afghanistan, have come to light during the last twenty-five years. These documents include letters, legal …

Plantatio memorialis

Munizha Ahmad-Cooke News 1 Comment

Written by James Cormick. By now the Muntjac deer that regularly forage in our garden will have noticed a new and potentially delicious addition to their larder. It is a young tree, with beautiful pinnate leaves, recently planted (on Friday 18 May 2018) in the south-eastern corner of the lawn. And although the Muntjac is not a native species, the tree will almost certainly jog its ancestral memory, for the tree is a Rowan (Sorbus aucuparia) and is as widely spread in China, the deer’s original home, as it is …

Among the archives: the seal of Ernst Stein

Ursula Sims-Williams Stories from the Collection Leave a Comment

One of the more surprising items in Sir Harold Bailey’s collection at the AIIT is a small sealstone made of a dark bluish green bloodstone, streaked with red specks (as its name suggests!). This was given to Sir Harold by Jeanette Mirsky (1903-1987), author of the biography of the Central Asian explorer and archaeologist Sir Marc Aurel Stein (1862-1943). Perhaps Jeanette Mirsky visited Sir Harold while she was researching her book Sir Aurel Stein, archaeological explorer (Chicago & London, 1977), for in March 1982 he received a belated birthday present, …