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Crafting an Identity: Landscape and Urbanism in Almohad Marrakesh

Abbey Stockstill, Harvard University, William R. Tyler Fellow 2016–2018

I spent the first year of my Tyler fellowship developing the “urban” chapter of my dissertation, which focuses on the organization of the twelfth-century royal district in Marrakesh under the first Almohad caliph. This research centered on an examination of the historical and archaeological records of a large garden complex known as the Agdal and a public square, or raḥba. Being at Dumbarton Oaks facilitated my research in two ways: first, the library and research staff helped me find material related to these sites, much of which is either rare or out of print, and speaking with other fellows taught me a great deal about the technical workings of these spaces. Second, Dumbarton Oaks and the Garden and Landscape Studies department created an atmosphere conducive to thinking about my material with a new frame of reference in terms of the landscape and how these sites fit together as a cohesive network.