Early Islam and late antiquity

Marcus Milwright

in An Introduction to Islamic Archaeology

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print February 2010 | ISBN: 9780748623105
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748671298 | DOI:
Early Islam and late antiquity

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This chapter deals with the degree to which the earliest phase of Islamic history (seventh and early eighth centuries) exhibits continuity with the patterns of urban and rural life in the preceding centuries (i.e. late antiquity). The first section deals with the earliest archaeological evidence for the new Muslim community in the seventh century, and concentrates upon monumental inscriptions and texts found on portable objects such as coins and papyri. The second section presents a brief survey of the archaeology of late antiquity in the Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia. The final section is concerned with the elite residences (qusur) constructed in Greater Syria during the late seventh and the first half of the eighth century. The distribution and morphology of these structures is considered in relation to the architectural patronage of other Arab groups between the fifth and the early seventh centuries.

Keywords: Muhammad; Shahada; Sasanian; Byzantine; Ghassanid; Continuity; Arab Conquests; Qusur

Chapter.  9719 words. 

Subjects: Archaeological Methodology and Techniques

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