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Dr. Katia Cytryn-Silverman

Scientific Biography:

Having emigrated from Brazil in 1987 after a year of Communications Studies at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, I was awarded my BA degree at the Hebrew University in 1991, specializing in Islamic Archaeology according to a specially tailored academic program (which eventually became part of the regular curriculum). At the same time I worked at the Institute’s Collections as an assistant curator, mainly responsible for the Islamic finds. In 1993 I joined the Sinai Project of the Ben Gurion University of the Negev, taking the Islamic material to be returned to Egypt following the Peace Treaty under my responsibility. This project was the core of my MA thesis (1996), which dealt with the settlement distribution in northern Sinai during the Islamic period according to the pottery evidence. As part of the research for the MA thesis I made two trips to Egypt, where I was the first Israeli student to be granted access to storerooms in Fustat (Old Cairo) as well as other Islamic collections. This research brought me closer to scholars in the Department of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies, who encouraged me to pursue an integrated study between Archaeology and Islamic History for my doctorate. Today I am on the verge of submitting my PhD thesis, which deals with the road-inns of the Mamluk period in Greater Syria (the region stretching from the Israel-Egyptian to the Syrian borders), but mainly focusing on sites personally surveyed within the State of Israel, Golan Heights and parts of the West Bank. During the academic year 1999-2000, as part of my research, I had the opportunity of studying at Oxford University under prominent scholars from the Oriental Institute and the Ashmolean Museum.

The Sultan Han near Aksaray, Turkey

In 2001 I ran a study trip to Anatolia with Dr. Rahel Milstein, in which we visited a number of Saljuk khans. In 2003 I joined a joint project of the Deptartment of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies and the Israel Antiquities Authority dealing with urbanization patterns in the transition between the Byzantine and Early Islamic periods.