Islamic archaeology

Islamic archaeology

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Credit: PASCAL GOETGHELUCK/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: Islamic archaeology. Researcher Eliane Beraud- Colomb studying dead bodies (seen on screen) that are over 1000 years old. The bodies are from the Al-Fustat necropolis, Cairo, Egypt, where members of the Fatimid dynasty were buried. The Fatimids, a Shiite Muslim dynasty that ruled a North African empire from 909 to 1171, founded Al Qahira (Cairo) in 972. Some of the bodies in Cairo were brought from a previous capital in Tunisia. Many of the bodies have mummified naturally, and Beraud-Colomb has taken bone, skin and hair samples for genetic analysis in France. The analysis may explain the origin and family relationships of the Fatimids, and also explain why some of them had blond hair.

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