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Eva Wilson

Term for two distinct decorative motifs based on types of water-lily; one originated in Egypt, the other in India. Lotus motifs in Egypt occur from the beginning of the Dynastic period c. 3000 bc in two stylized forms. The curved outline of the flower-head distinguishes the motif based on the white-flowered ...


Ajay Dandekar

Category of commemorative monuments found throughout the Indian subcontinent. Satī stones (satīkals) were erected as memorials to women who committed suicide following their husbands’ deaths, while hero stones (vīragals) commemorate men who died under such circumstances as a battle, a cattle raid or the defence of their villages from bands of raiders. Early medieval Kannada literature recognized five events for which heroes were honoured: a cattle raid; resisting an assault on the modesty of women; extending help to distressed relatives; acting on the orders of their masters; and defending their land....


Susan Roaf

Traditional form of natural ventilation and air-conditioning built on houses throughout the Middle East from North Africa to Pakistan. Constructed at least since the 2nd millennium bc in Egypt, wind catchers have also been used to cool caravanserais, water cisterns and mosques. Consisting of an open vent built on the roof facing into or away from the prevailing wind, wind catchers have shafts carrying the air down through the roof into the living area below, thereby ventilating and cooling the spaces. Wind catchers are generally placed above the summer rooms of courtyard houses. On the ...