Geoffrey Khan

Published On


Page Range

pp. 15–48


  • English

Print Length

34 pages

2. The Arabic Documents from Qaṣr Ibrīm

Chapter of: Arabic Documents from Medieval Nubia(pp. 15–48)
This chapter describes the site of Qaṣr Ibrīm where the documents published in this volume were discovered. This was a fortress that was situated between the first and second cataracts of the Nile, now in Egypt about 240 km south of the first cataract. The long history of occupation of Qaṣr Ibrīm ranges from the end of the New Kingdom of Pharaonic Egypt in the eleventh century BC to 1812 AD in the Ottoman period. After the construction of the Aswan High Dam in the 1960s, Qaṣr Ibrīm became flooded by the waters of Lake Nasser and is now reduced to a small island. Excavations of the site by the Egypt Exploration Society began in 1961. The Arabic texts that were discovered are mainly documentary and relate to diplomacy and commerce. They are datable to throughout the Islamic period. The corpus published in this volume is datable to the Fatimid period (eleventh–twelfth centuries AD). The chapter includes an overview of the content of the documents of the corpus.


Geoffrey Khan

Regius Professor of Hebrew at University of Cambridge

Geoffrey Khan (PhD, School of Oriental and African Studies, London, 1984) is Regius Professor of Hebrew at the University of Cambridge. His research publications focus on three main fields: Biblical Hebrew language (especially medieval traditions), Neo-Aramaic dialectology, and medieval Arabic documents. He is the general editor of The Encyclopedia of Hebrew Language and Linguistics (Brill, 2013) and is the senior editor of Journal of Semitic Studies. His recent publications include The Tiberian Pronunciation Tradition of Biblical Hebrew, Cambridge: University of Cambridge & Open Book Publishers, 2020, Performance of Sacred Semitic Texts (editor, with co-editor Hindy Najman), Dead Sea Discoveries 29, Brill. 2022, and Language Contact in Sanandaj (co-authored with Masoud Mohammadirad), Berlin, de Gruyter, 2024.