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The Life and Times of the Mamluk Turba. Processual Subversion of Inceptual Intent
Many of the Mamluk turba-s of Cairo’s cemeteries survived because of a process of subversion of the original intention of their founders whereby new meanings and functions were endowed by the users of these funerary complexes, particularly the religious figures living and/or buried there and their followers. This study will investigate the reasons behind the construction of the turba-s of the cemeteries of Cairo, for the choice of the particular formula they followed, and also for the choice of site and location. It will then follow their post-inception history and discuss the reasons for the mutations and subversions they underwent. In doing so, it will argue for a re-assessment of this later history and for its validation as an integral part of the identity of the turba and in some cases, as a decisive factor in its survival.
Keywords: Cairo – Mamluk – al-Qarafa – cemetery – turba – hermeneutics – sacred architecture.
- May Al-Ibrashy