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Distributed for Hirmer Publishers

Early Capitals of Islamic Culture

The Art and Culture of Umayyad Damascus and Abbasid Baghdad (650 - 950)

Early Capitals of Islamic Culture reproduces archaeological materials and selected masterpieces from the first centuries of Islam that, together, chart the transition from pre-Islamic to Islamic culture. Showing how ancient techniques and aesthetic practices were adapted alongside the appearance of bold new innovations, the book provides deep insights into this fascinating period of art and cultural history. Published to accompany a major joint exhibition of the Sharjah Museums Department of the United Arab Emirates and the State Museums of Berlin, which hold a particularly rich collection of early Islamic art and artifacts and have among their aims the raising of public awareness about the achievements of early Islamic culture, the publication of Early Capitals of Islamic Culture also celebrates Sharjah’s recognition as Islamic cultural capital for 2014.

142 pages | 107 color plates | 9 1/4 x 10 1/2 | © 2014

Art: Middle Eastern, African, and Asian Art

Culture Studies

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Table of Contents

Manal Ataya, Johannes Ebert, Michael Eissenhauer
Early Islamic Capitals
Stefan Weber and Ulrike Al-Khamis
A Panoramic Promenade
Youssef el Khoury
“It’s not Culture that divides us—it’s the Personal Stories that unite us”
Susan Kamel
The Urban legacy of the Middle East
Stefan Weber
The Power of the Word—From Coin Reform to Tombstone
Gisela Helmecke
Damascus and the Umayyad Empire
The Umayyad Empire, its Capital Damascus and the “Desert Castles”
Stefan Weber
Khirbat al-Minya—A Local “Desert Castle”
Gisela Helmecke
Having a Bath in the Desert
Stefan Weber
Mshatta: Islamic Art and its Connections to Antiquity
Katharina Meinecke and Sophia Vassilopoulou
Baghdad and the Abbasid Empire
The Abbasid Empire and its Residential Cities Baghdad, Raqqa and Samarra
Julia Gonnella
Ctesiphon: The Sasanian Heritage in the Early Islamic Era
Ute Franke
Samarra, the Ephemeral Capital
Julia Gonnella
Trendy Trade with Blue-and-White Dishes: Early Networks of Ceramic Exchange between East and West
Isabelle Dolezalek
The Shimmer of Gold—Lustre Ceramics in Samarra
Gisela Helmecke

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