HANDS ON Traditional Crafts at The City of the Dead in Cairo


Tomb of Ganibak al-Ashrafi (No.122), A.D.1427 / 830 A.H.

This stone- built domed mausoleum stands next to the north-western corner of the huge funerary enclosure of Sultan al-Ashraf Barsbay. Ganibak was a favourite mamluk of Barsbay, and was given the high office of dawadar (secretary) in recognition of his long-standing loyalty. He was renowned for his generosity and his knowledge of Islamic law. The zone-of-transition is geometric, and the dome is exquisitely decorated with web-like sets of thin interlacing mouldings that form patterns of twelve-pointed stars. It makes an interesting contrast with the much simpler domes of the khanqa of Sultan Farag Ibn Barquq, built only sixteen years earlier.