Katarina Mokranova is a Research Master student in Archaeology of the Near East at Leiden University specializing in Islamic Archaeology and ceramics. In February 2020, she has started in the role of NINO Student Research Assistant on a project analysing the ceramics retrieved from the Byzantine-Early Islamic marketplace at Jarash in Jordan. Her research is undertaken in the framework of the Leiden Islamic Jarash Project, directed by Dr Ian Simpson of the Faculty of Archaeology, Leiden University, which is a programme of research investigating the archaeology of marketplace shops and households in Byzantine and early Islamic Jarash (500-1000CE). Jarash is a large, well-preserved city in northern Jordan and they are working towards understanding the marketplace of the site at the crossroads of the temporal changes in dietary practices and commercial activities.
The marketplace section of the Jarash Project sheds light on the overlooked but important period of social, cultural and economic transition that took a place in Byzantine-early Islamic times. The project she is undertaking seeks to understand the role of the commercial district and marketplace streets surrounding an early congregational mosque that was discovered by Dr Alan Walmsley in an earlier phase of archaeological investigations at Jarash. This project will produce a pottery dataset, stored in the project’s relational database, in conjunction with an enhanced ceramic ware-typology and type-series, which will be supplemented with digitised images of pottery drawings and macroscopic analysis of the sherds in the type-series. Such an approach will provide substantial data for subsequently studying the ceramic assemblages from the marketplace within the framework of trade and exchange, cooking practices and diet, and social organisation of production. The results of this project will be utilised in future publications on Jarash both in academic journals and an upcoming volume on the site. Furthermore, updates on the Islamic Jarash Project, including her research project within it, will be provided through the Faculty of Archaeology website as well as the forthcoming Islamic Jarash Project website.