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

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Tomb of Khadiga Umm al-Ashraf (No.106) CA A.D.1430-40 / 835-45 A.H.

The name under which this monument is known suggests that it was built for the mother of Sultan al-Ashraf Barsbay, who is buried nearby. There is no inscription on the building to give its exact date. Its style suggests that it was built about 1430, but it includes traditional features found in earlier tombs. Of these, the plain, stepped zone-of-transition built of bricks, and the one-over-two keel-arch windows in it are similar to early Mamluk tombs at the Cemetery (like the tomb of Anas). The dome is decorated with intertwining ribs, which creates a very powerful effect. Only one other dome in Cairo is similarly decorated: that built in 1440 for Amir Taghribardi in al-Saliba Street close to the Mosque of Ahmad Ibn Tulun. The mausoleum is now hidden behind a row of modern buildings and is in rather poor condition.