Laser-scanning Shihrazad’s Baths: 1001 Tales of Zanzibar Nights

Laura Basell, Abdullah Ali, Behnam Firoozi Nejad, Ella Egberts, Nicholas Mellor, Mark Horton

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This paper presents the first archaeological survey of the ornate Kidichi baths on Zanzibar. The baths were built for or by Shihrazad, a wife of Zanzibar’s nineteenth century ruler Said bin Sultan (1806–1856). Laser scanning the ornate plaster stucco was used to clarify two inscriptions, the precise meaning of which had been lost. By combining archaeological survey results with historical research, and a translation of the inscriptions, a new narrative is presented in which the main protagonist is, unusually, female. Her story raises a host of questions relating to heritage, gender, religion and politics in modern-day Africa and beyond.
Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Antiquaries Journal
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jun 2020


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