Spatial Analysis of a Historical Phenomenon: Using GIS to Demonstrate the Strategic Placement of Umayyad Desert Palaces

GeoJournal, published onl;ine 17 November 2010

Mahmoud Bashir Alhasanat, Shahid Kabir, Wan Muhd Aminuddin Wan Hussin and Erin Addison

“The Umayyad qusour (desert palaces) are monumental structures built during the reign of the first caliphate of Islam. Usually dismissed as “pleasure palaces” or “hunting lodges,” some scholars are beginning to argue that these prominent structures were strategic interventions in the landscape. Until now, historians have relied mainly on textual, architectural and art-historical analyses of the qusour in order to understand Umayyad state architecture. This research proposes the use of spatial analysis through GIS to lend a new dimension to the discussion. The results of the analysis show that Umayyad qusour are carefully situated at routes of transhumance and water sources. The distribution pattern of the Umayyad qusour is clustered at the outlet of Wadi Sarhan, and there is actually line-of-sight communication between Azraq, Amra, Haranah, Muwaqqar, Umm al Walid, Mushatta, and Qastal. There is also a positive association between Umayyad qusour and their water sources. These results support the argument that the Umayyad qusour were built strategically at perennial water sources in order to monitor routes of transhumance amongst the socio-political centers of the period.”

One thought on “Spatial Analysis of a Historical Phenomenon: Using GIS to Demonstrate the Strategic Placement of Umayyad Desert Palaces

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Spatial Analysis of a Historical Phenomenon: Using GIS to Demonstrate the Strategic Placement of Umayyad Desert Palaces « GIS and Science -- Topsy.com

Comments are closed.