Islamic dynasty that ruled from several capitals in Iraq between
Islamic dynasty that ruled from several capitals in Iraq between
Islamic dynasty that governed Tunisia, Algeria and Sicily from
Egyptian city situated on the Mediterranean coast west of the delta of the River Nile, capital of Egypt from c. 320
Alexandria was founded in 331
With the defeat of the last Ptolemaic monarch, Cleopatra VII (51–30
[Andjar, ‛Anjar, ‛Ayn al-Jarr]
Late Antique and early Islamic settlement in the Beqa‛a Valley of Lebanon, 56 km east of Beirut. Excavations since 1953 have revealed a cardinally orientated rectangular enclosure (370×310 m) with dressed stone walls. Each side has regularly spaced half-round towers and a central gate. Two colonnaded avenues intersecting at right angles under a tetrapylon link the gates, a plan recalling that of Roman foundations in the Levant and in North Africa. Within the enclosure are the remains of two palaces and the foundations of three others in stone and hard mortar, as well as a mosque, two baths (one paved with mosaics) and a well. The western area has streets intersecting at right angles and housing units with private courts, and the eastern area has open fields beyond the palaces and mosque. The construction of the greater palace in alternating courses of stone and brick is a technique well known in Byzantine architecture. Reused architectural elements from the Roman and early Christian periods, some bearing Greek inscriptions, are found all over the site. A large quantity of archivolts and mouldings, carved with vegetal, geometrical and figural motifs, was found among the ruined palaces. Texts suggest that Anjar was founded in the time of the Umayyad caliph al-Walid (...
Iranian town in the province of Isfahan, just east of the road from Natanz to Na’in. It occupies an ancient site and preserves the ruins of a Sasanian fire-temple, but the most important monuments date from the medieval period, when Ardistan was a flourishing agricultural centre, renowned for its silk. By the 10th century the town was fortified and had five gates. Its congregational mosque, which now has a four-iwan plan, was first built during this period; a tunnel-vaulted arcade in the south-west corner with a fragmentary kufic inscription and polylobed piers can be attributed to the 10th century, when similar work was done on the Friday Mosque at Isfahan (see Islamic art, §ii, 5(i)(a)). In 1158–60 the mosque was remodelled on the orders of Abu Tahir Husayn ibn Ghali ibn Ahmad by the master Mahmud ibn al-Isfahani known as al-Ghazi (see Islamic art, §ii, 5(i)(b)). The domed bay in front of the mihrab and the adjacent qibla iwan date from this rebuilding and are notable for their original decoration, which includes three stucco mihrabs, brickwork highlighted in red and white and plaster decoration in purple, yellow, white and blue. In ...
Astrology is the art of predicting events on earth as well as human character and disposition from the movements of the planets and fixed stars. Medieval astrology encompassed both general concepts of celestial influence, and the technical art of making predictions with horoscopes, symbolic maps of the heavens at particular moments and places constructed from astronomical information. The scientific foundations of the art were developed in ancient Greece, largely lost in early medieval Europe and recovered by the Latin West from Arabic sources in the 12th and 13th centuries. Late medieval astrological images were successfully Christianized and were adapted to particular contexts, acquired local meanings and changed over time.
Astrology developed into a scientific branch of learning in ancient Greece, but because of the opposition of the Church Fathers it was transmitted to early medieval Europe in only fragmentary form in technically unsophisticated textbooks and popular divinatory genres. Literary and scientific texts provided more general ideas about the nature and attributes of the planets which were influential on later iconography. The first significant astrological images appear in 11th-century illustrated astronomical texts (e.g. London, BL, Cotton MS. Tiberius BV), which were acquired and produced by monasteries to aid with time-keeping and the construction of the Christian calendar....
Town in the province of Kirman, southern Iran, on an important route skirting the southern fringes of the Dasht-i Lut Desert. The old walled city was founded in the Sasanian period (
Term used to describe the distinctive relief decoration commonly used on stucco, wood and other arts of the early Islamic period. Characterized by a slanted cut (Ger. Schrägeschnitt), the decoration usually consists of rhythmic and symmetrical repetitions of curved lines with spiral terminals. The style is first documented in the mid-9th century
The Bevelled style quickly became popular throughout the Abbasid realm: it is found, for example, at the ...
Site near the town of Shakhristan (Shahristan) in northern Tajikistan. Capital of the medieval state of Ustrushana, which occupied the region between the Syr River and the Hisar Range from Samarkand to Khodzhent, Bundzhikat was described in 10th to 12th-century sources as a large and densely populated town in a beautiful location with plenty of water and gardens. The city proper was surrounded by a special wall with two gates, while the nearby citadel had its own fortifications and the suburb its own wall with four gates. All three parts of the city, as well as the country palaces, houses, gardens and vineyards, were surrounded by an enceinte. Among the largest buildings were the central mosque in the city, the prison in the citadel and the king’s palace in the suburb. The town got its water from the small Sarin River and six canals leading from it, along which there were over ten mills....
[formerly Balasaghun; Balasagun; Kuz-Balyk; Kuz-Ordu
Medieval site 12 km south of Tokmak and 6 km from Ak-Beshim in the eastern part of the Chu Valley in northern Kyrgyzstan. Identified with Balasaghun, the capital of the Qarakhanid dynasty (reg 940–1211), Burana takes its name from the surviving minaret (10th–11th century) called Manār-i burāna by the 16th-century historian Mirza Muhammad-Haydar Dughlat. Archaeological investigation of the site, which was destroyed by earthquakes in the 14th and 15th centuries, has been conducted since 1927. The central group of ruins, identified by Masson as the city proper, covers an area 600×560–80 m and includes a palace complex, the minaret and various buildings dating from the 10th to the 14th century. This was the administrative and religious centre of medieval Balasaghun. The minaret (h. 24 m; rest. 1974) has a square base, octagonal socle and tapering cylindrical shaft articulated by bands of decoration. A door 5 m above ground level (indicating the height of the roof of the now-destroyed mosque) leads to an internal spiral stair. nearby were the tombs of the Qarakhanids (destr.), of which three have been excavated. One was an octagonal prism with a dome or conical cap; the two others were cylinders with monumental portals and either a dome or conical cap. They were decorated with bricks laid in patterns, terracotta and carved plaster. A ...
Islamic dynasty that ruled in Iran and Iraq from
[Sogdian-Pers. Chach, Chachstan; Arab. Shāsh; Chin. Shi, Chzheshi]
Ancient state centred on the Tashkent Oasis on the north bank of the Syr River in Uzbekistan. From medieval times its chief city has been known increasingly as Tashkent. Although the small domain of Chach was assimilated by a semi-nomadic state in the first centuries
Medieval site 3 km south-east of Bakhchisaray in the Crimea, Ukraine. The site was probably founded in the 6th century
Islamic dynasty that ruled in Ifriqiya (now Tunisia) from
[Farghana; Fergana; Pers. Farghānā.]
Valley (300×70 km) of the middle Syr River in Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan. The fertile region has been inhabited by farmers and pastoralists for millennia, and numerous archaeological sites from the Bronze Age onwards have been found there. The nearly inaccessible site of Saimaly Tash, at an altitude of 3000 m in the Ferghana Mountains north of Uzgend, has produced over 100,000 petroglyphs dating from the Bronze Age to the 1st millennium
Islamic dynasty that ruled in Afghanistan, Transoxiana, eastern Iran and northern India from
Ancient city on the Anatolian plateau in Turkey, c. 30 km south of Urfa, where a trade route from the Euphrates crosses the modern Turco-Syrian frontier. The site was visited and described from the mid-19th century by such travellers as R. C. Chesney, C. Preusser, Gertrude Bell, K. A. C. Creswell and T. E. Lawrence. From 1950 onwards it was surveyed and excavated by S. Lloyd, W. Brice and D. S. Rice. The main mound, in the centre of the site, rises 20 m above the level of the plain, undoubtedly covering the ruins of an Assyrian temple to the moon-god Sin.
Harran was probably already a centre for the cult of the moon-god in the 2nd millennium
[Rus. Khul’buk; Kurbanshaid]
Capital of the medieval province of Khuttal, on the Kyzyl (Akhsu) River, 7 km from the village of Vose in the Khatlon region of southern Tajikistan. The town, mentioned in medieval sources of the 10th–12th centuries, corresponds to the modern settlement of Kurbanshaid. In the 9th–10th century the town was the residence of the provincial governor under the local Banijurid dynasty, who minted coins in Khuttal and has links to the Samanids of Transoxiana. At the end of the 10th century or early 11th, Khuttal lost its independence and came under the control of the Ghaznavids, whose governor-general was based at Hulbuk.
Extensive excavations under the direction of Erkinoy Gulyamova were carried out in the 1960s to 1980s in the south-western part of the 10 ha settlement at the citadel (50×150 m). Rising 10–15 m above the surrounding area, it was the location of the governor’s palace (late 9th century ...
Islamic dynasty that ruled in Morocco between
[Khirbet el Mefjer].
Early Islamic palace in the Wadi’l-Nuway‛ima north of Jerico, Jordan. Excavated by R. W. Hamilton between 1934 and 1948, the complex consists of a square residential building, bath complex, mosque, enclosed forecourt with fountain and rear service building, all finely built of sandstone ashlar masonry and contained in an enclosure of about 60 ha. Construction of the complex was unfinished when much apparently collapsed in the great earthquake of 747, although occupation continued into the 9th century. The residence took the form of a two-storey fort (67 m square) with half-round buttresses on the exterior and a projecting gateblock. The central colonnaded courtyard was surrounded with rooms, and it contains the entrance to an underground suite (Arab. sirdāb) paved with mosaics. Carved stucco dados survive from the portal, which was surmounted by an audience hall. The bath complex lies to the north of the residence. It had a projecting rectangular portal, decorated with a stucco statue of a prince in Persian dress. The entrance was surmounted by a dome on pendentives, decorated with figures of dancers. The main room, a grand audience hall, had 11 apses and 16 piers that supported a vaulted roof with a central cupola; the plan derives from the quincunx basilica. The floor is covered with 39 adjoining panels of geometric mosaics, the largest single floor mosaic to survive from the ancient world. In the apse opposite the entrance is a cryptic mosaic depiction of an ethrog (fruit of the citron) and a knife. Attached to the hall on the north is a 33-seat latrine, a small 4-room hypocaust bath (the cold bath was situated in the main hall) and a private audience room (Arab. ...