English / Arabic

Alan Walmsley

Raised in Auckland, New Zealand, and educated as an archaeologist and historian in Auckland and Sydney, Australia, my research and teaching centres on the archaeology, architecture, art, and numismatics of the Islamic World during the first and second millennia CE. I am particularly interested in matters of continuity, resilience and transformation in Syro-Palestinian society between the fifth and eleventh centuries CE as preserved in the material record. Recent research deals with similar issues during the later second millennium society in the Gulf, also from the perspective of material culture. I study and teach new ways of understanding formative developments in Islamic society through the use of contemporary (and especially post-colonial) approaches to the analysis of visual culture, which offers a crossover to the study of modern Islam. I have worked in the Middle East for over 30 years, during which time I have directed five major field projects. My current work includes a comprehensive archaeological and heritage program at the renowned site of Jarash in Jordan (in partnership with the Department of Antiquities) and, more recently, a new project in northwest Qatar with a focus on the urban site of Az Zubarah and its extensive hinterland (in partnership with the Qatar Museums Authority).