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The Mystery behind the 'Minaret' of Jam, Afghanistan

  • Islamic Museum of Australia 15A Anderson Road Thornbury, Vic 3071 Australia (map)

The ‘Minaret’ of Jam is a fascinating structure which continues to stagger academics around the world. Is it a minaret? Or a monument symbolising the success of war?
The minaret stands 65 metres tall in Afghanistan, in isolation apart from crumbling ruins on nearby hill slopes. The minaret was built around 1175 by Sultan Ghiyath al-Din, the ruler of the Ghurid dynasty.  The dynasty collapsed after the invasion of Mongols. After its fall, there has been little mention of the minaret, hidden away in central Afghanistan for centuries.
The minaret and surrounding archaeological remains became Afghanistan's first UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2002. However, few people have been able to visit and work at the site since the Soviet invasion in 1979 and subsequent conflicts. Meaning many questions remain about the minaret, the surrounding site and the Ghurids including:

  • When was the minaret built?

  • Why was it built at Jam?

  • What was the purpose of the minaret?

Join us at the Islamic Museum as we shed light on some of the mysteries that lie beneath the surface of this 'Minaret' of Jam with Dr. David Thomas.

About the speaker: David Thomas, from La Trobe University, completed his PhD on the Ghurid dynasty at La Trobe University in 2012 and published a book about the Ghurids last year. In this richly illustrated talk, David will draw on two seasons of fieldwork at Jam to explore some of the mysteries of the site.

Time and date: 11am-12.00pm, Tuesday 21 May 2019

Location: Islamic Museum of Australia, 15A Anderson Road, Thornbury, Victoria 3071