Kufa: Architects

Date: c. 638

Al-Tabari, Abu Jaʿfar Muhammad (d. 923), describes the building of a new garrison city in Kufa, including the citadel. When Ruzbih b. Buzurgumihr began building the citadel he reused baked bricks from a Sasanian citadel in al-Hira, but was not allowed to continue this way. The supporting pillars were also eventually borrowed since they came from Christian churches. Ziyad’s (r.??) later additions involved walls and he brought architects from the Jāhiliyya who told him he needed pillars crafted from stone quarried at Ahwaz. These pillars would be pierced, hollowed, filled with lead, and held together with iron bars to they could be raised thirty cubits high. See also: Iron Foundry; Quarrier; Builder; Construction Worker.

Citation: Al-Tabari, Abu Jaʿfar Muhammad b. Jarir, Taʾrīkh al-rusul wa’l-mulūk. Translated in al-Tabari, Abu Jaʿfar Muhammad b. Jarir, The History of al-Ṭabarī (Taʾrīkh al-rusul wa’l-mulūk). Volume XIII: The Conquest of Iraq, Southwestern Persia, and Egypt, trans. Gautier Juynboll, Bibliotheca Persica (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1989), pp. 71-73

Also: Alami, Mohammed Hamdouni. Art and Architecture in the Islamic Tradition: Aesthetics, Politics and Desire in Early Islam, Library of the Modern Middle East Studies (London and New York: I.B. Tauris, 2011), pp. 190-91; Milwright, Marcus. Islamic Arts and Crafts: An Anthology (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2017), pp. 190, 194-95.