Development of construction techniques in the Mamluk domes of Cairo

Development of construction techniques in the Mamluk domes of Cairo

By Barbara Cipriani

Master’s Thesis, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2005

Abstract: This dissertation reconstructs the building features, the construction methods and the esthetic and structural changes of the Mamluk Mausolea in Cairo (1250-1517 A.D.); a special attention is dedicated to the domes that cover all the Mausolea and that represent an example of high expertise in Mediaeval architecture.

This works document several stages of their construction from the Mausoleum of As- Sawabi, 1285 A.D. to the Funerary Complex of Amir Qurqumas, 1506 A.D. through bibliographic sources, photographic material and restoration reports collected in several libraries and archives where information on the topic is stored. Moreover, three Mausolea belonging to the period of construction in stone: Umm Sultan Sha’ban (1369 A.D.), Farag Ibn Barquq (1389-1411 A.D.) and Amir Khayer Bek (1502 A.D.) are fully documented with survey on site, technical drawing and structural analysis.

Through a detailed analysis of the Mausolea, this work aims to answer to wider questions, such as the role of the patronage in the changes of the architectural features, the differences and the similarities in the construction methods and in the structural behavior between complexes belonging to distinct moment of Mamluk History and the transmission of knowledge in the construction world of Mamluk Cairo.

Click here to read/download this thesis (PDF file)

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