Museum of M’sila (National Agency of Archaeology)
Hegira 406–547 / AD 1015–1152
Height 43.5 cm, sides 35.5 cm, diameter of the base 24.5 cm
Qasr al-Manar, Qal’at Bani Hammad, Algeria.
An astragal, decorated with arcs adorned with flower-shaped ornaments, sits on top of a plinth with chevron mouldings. These two elements are surmounted by a double row of folded acanthus leaves; caulicole leaves that are superimposed over each other, whose surface is embellished with digitations and eyelets, grow out between the acanthus leaves of the second row. The whole is surmounted by a curved abacus ornamented with milled edges, at each corner centrally presenting a projecting decoration that consists of double palmettes.
This capital was discovered in the great hall of the palace of Manar, which Bourouiba affirms was divided into two levels that were separated by a step flanked on each side by a column. The author also indicates that it was the first time in the history of the Qal'at Bani Hammad excavations that columns were found both in their entirety and remaining in their original positions, along with all the pieces of which they consist.
The presence of traces of blue paint should also be noted.
Capital consisting of a plinth decorated at its base with juxtaposed broken lines beneath an astragal (semi-circular moulding) decorated with an arcature, two rows of acanthus leaves, and other floral motifs. The whole is crowned by an ornate curved abacus. It was discovered in the ceremonial hall of the Manar Palace.
Through having been found on the site of the Qal'at Bani Hammad.
Archaeological repository (Bourouiba excavations, 1971).
Found in the great hall of the palace of Manar in the Qal'at Bani Hammad.
Bourouiba, R., Cités disparues: Tahert, Sédrata, Achir, Kalaâ des Beni Hammad, Algiers, 1982.
Bourouiba, R., Les H'ammadites, Algiers, 1984.
Leila Merabet "Capital" in Discover Islamic Art, Museum With No Frontiers, 2020. http://islamicart.museumwnf.org/database_item.php?id=object;ISL;dz;Mus01;40;en
Prepared by: Leila MerabetLeila Merabet
Titulaire d'un magister en archéologie islamique (spécialité épigraphie arabe), conservateur du patrimoine archéologique et historique, Leila Merabet est chef du service Conservation et Valorisation (section islamique) au Musée national des antiquités. Elle a publié de nombreux articles dans les Annales du Musée national des antiquités.
Copyedited by: Margot Cortez
Translation by: Maria Vlotides
Translation copyedited by: Monica Allen
MWNF Working Number: AL 73
Islamic Dynasties / Period
On display in
Discover Islamic Art Exhibition(s)The Muslim West | Andalusian-Maghrebi Art
MWNF GalleriesArchitectural Elements
Related MWNF Travel Book
DownloadAs PDF (including images) As Word (text only)