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This acknowledgement of my work in Islamic archaeology comes as a complete surprise and therefore is all the more appreciated. It is with some humility that I would express my gratitude to Middle East Medievalists, especially as I had begun to wonder whether my field of studies had become irrelevant or just passé, a forgotten corner of Middle East studies. I will discuss this further but, first, I would offer a short account of my entrance into this arcane, if not irrelevant field of studies.
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