chapter  9
Scholarship on Islamic archaeology between Zionism and Arab nationalist movements
WithMostafa Hussein
Pages 25

This critical scholarship has overlooked both western engagement in Islamic archaeology and its relationship to the regional nationalisms. Mayer’s intellectual growth and engagement with Islamic art and archaeology took place under the Austria–Hungarian monarchy before immigration to Mandatory Palestine, and therefore it is of relevance to highlight the monarchy’s interest in the Orient and how that may have influenced Mayer’s intellectual formation. The aesthetics of Islamic art and archaeology itself seem, in the assessment of Mayer, to emanate from the participation of Muslim and non-Muslim subjects. The approach to revealing the aesthetics of Islamic art and archaeology, Mayer explored Jewish participation in Islamicate civilization. The reception of Mayer’s work, serves as a testimony to various components of Palestinian nationalist consciousness, such as patriotism, Arabism, religious sentiments, and high level of literacy among the Palestinian elite. The utilization of Mayer’s scholarly corpus for nationalist ends is the translation of Mamluk Costumes into Arabic under the sponsorship of the Egyptian General Authority.