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An Introduction to Islamic Archaeology$
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Marcus Milwright

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780748623105

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748623105.001.0001

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New directions in the early Islamic period

New directions in the early Islamic period

(p.44) 3 New directions in the early Islamic period
An Introduction to Islamic Archaeology

Marcus Milwright

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter considers the ways in which the archaeological record of the eighth to the tenth centuries provides evidence for significant breaks with late antiquity. These new directions can be detected in aspects of religious life, trade, manufacturing, urban life, and the rural environment. The chapter addresses two important bodies of evidence: the growth of trading links with western Russia, the Baltic regions, and Scandinavia; and the imposition of two new building types, the mosque and the governor's residence (dar al-imara) upon the urban spaces of the new Islamic empire. The trade with the north can principally be tracked through coin hoards, and the first section considers what can be inferred from the chronological and spatial distribution of early Islamic silver coins (dirhams). The second section employs standing and excavated building to evaluate the importance of the mosque and the dar al-imara as a means of communicating Muslim religious and political values.

Keywords:   Numismatics, Dirham, Viking, Scandinavia, Mosque, Dar al-Imara, Misr

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