Church Architecture of Late Antique Northern Mesopotamia

Keser Kayaalp E.

Oxford University Press, London , Oxford, 2021

  • Publication Type: Book / Research Book
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, London 
  • City: Oxford
  • Dokuz Eylül University Affiliated: Yes


Church Architecture of Late Antique Northern Mesopotamia examines the church architecture of Northern Mesopotamia between the fourth and eighth centuries. Keser Kayaalp focuses on settlements, plan types, artistic encounters, the remarkable continuity of the classical tradition in the architectural decoration, the heterogeneity of the building techniques, patrons, imperial motivations, dedications of churches, and stories that claim and make spaces. Employing archaeological and epigraphical material and hagiographical and historical sources, she presents a holistic picture of the church architecture of this frontier region, encompassing the cities of Nisibis (Nusaybin), Edessa (,Sanliurfa), Amida (Diyarbakir), Anastasiopolis (Dara/Oğuz), Martyropolis (Silvan), Constantia (Viranşehir), and their surroundings, and the rural Tur Abdin region. The period covered spans the last centuries of Byzantine and the first century and a half of Arab rule, when the region was, on the one hand, a stage of war and riven by religious controversies, and a cultural interspace on the other. Keser Kayaalp discusses the different dynamics in this frontier region and the resulting built environment and church architecture in pursuit of providing a regional contribution to the study of the transformation that the Byzantine civilization underwent in the late antique period and understanding the continuities and changes after the Arab conquest.