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




The height of ancient Egyptian civilisation was during the Bronze Age. When iron was eventually introduced about three thousand years ago, the Egyptians kept producing useful and beautiful objects in bronze. In mediaeval Cairo, metal vessels and containers, lamps, candlesticks, various small objects and huge window-grilles and other architectural ornaments reached a very high level of artistic craftsmanship. Fine examples can be found in the mosques of the Northern Cemetery.


Many workshops in the “City of the Dead” produce industrial and utilitarian metal objects. In the Qaitbey area there are also craftsmen who make brass and copper vessels decorated in traditional Islamic style. The intricate geometric patterns used in their decoration are sometimes remarkably similar to those found on masterfully carved mediaeval stone domes of the Mamluk period that grace this area of the cemetery.

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