Middle Eastern

Cultures of the Middle Eastern lands, such as the Ottoman Empire, Egypt, Israel, and Arabia

The history of the Persian carpet

Persians and Iranians have long been identified with their magnificent woven carpets. An article for Payvand Iran News traces the history of the Persian carpet from 500 BCE to the present, including documentation and artifacts. (photos)

The search for lost technologies

For centuries, historians and scientists have bemoaned the loss of ancient technologies such as Greek fire and Damascus steel. In an article for io9.com, Alasdair Wilkins discusses both lost technologies, as well as the lost Apollo mission schematics.

[LOC] Tajiine Tourney

Mordenvale presents Tajiine Tourney April 28, 2012 at Jesmond Park in Jesmond NSW

[LOC] A bit Moorish - CANCELLED

Baron Bastian has been travelling and has found some new delights that he wishes to share with the populace.

Medieval Jewish documents prove existence of community in Afghanistan

Experts are baffled by the appearance of more than 200 rare, medieval Jewish manuscripts found in Afghanistan, proving the existence of a Jewish population in the country during the Middle Ages. The mystery? No one seems clear on how or where the documents were found.

Iranian luxury at the Freer and Sackler Galleries

The Freer and Sackler Galleries of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. are hosting the exhibit "Feast Your Eyes" on Ancient Iranian Luxury Metalwork beginning February 4, 2012. The exhibit "explores the beauty, role and function of luxury metalwork in ancient Iran."

Reannag Teine Pottery

Inspired by medieval and earlier times,Reannag Teine specializes in unique, usable pottery—safe for food and drink and well as modern conveniences as the oven, dishwasher, and microwave. All the designs are drawn free-hand and hand-painted onto the hand-thrown pottery—no molds or stencils used—and our wares are designed sturdy, built to survive years of everyday use.

[MID] Festival of Maidens

The Shire of Würmwald cordially invites you to spend a weekend of fun, frivolity and fighting.

[ATL] Bright Hills Baronial Birthday

Come to the Bright Hills to celebrate the Persian New Year, which usually occurs on March 21.  It has been a tradition since the time of Zoraster (1750 to 600 BCE) and continues to this day. 

Khazaria: the third superpower

In the 7th through 10th centuries, two super powers ruled Eastern Europe: Byzantium, "bulwark of Christendom in the east," and the Arab empire, but some historians name a third. Khazaria, a Jewish kingdom, played a crucial a part in the stemming of the Arab advance into Europe. (map)

[MID] A Regular Event in Cleftlands

The Barony of the Cleftlands presents: A Regular Event in Cleftlands - The 14th Warrior

[EAS] Baronial Investiture Anniversary

Roll out the carpet (a magic carpet, that is!) and prepare to be transported to an exotic place and time...into Arabian Nights!  Join the Barony of l’Ile du Dragon Dormant as they celebrate their Baronial Investiture Anniversary with a Middle Eastern flavour.

Acre: “one of the most exciting sites in the world of archaeology”

Archaeologists and tourists alike are rediscovering Acre, the Crusader city in Israel. Now the ancient city is being viewed as a goldmine for medieval artifacts. Eliezer Stern, the Israeli archaeologist in charge of Acre, calls the city “one of the most exciting sites in the world of archaeology.” (photos)

7th century Christian prayer box found in Jerusalem

The archaeological dig at the "Givati parking lot" in Jerusalem has yielded an extremely rare Byzantine prayer box dating to the 6th or 7th centuries. The small box is made from stone and is decorated with a cross. (photos)

Metropolitan Museum of Art reopens Islamic galleries

For eight years, the vast collections of Islamic art at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art has been unavailable to the public, but now visitors can enjoy the collection as never before. Holland Cotter of the New York Times has a review.

"Crisis in the Byzantine Empire" may have brought about the First Crusade

Everyone knows that the First Crusade began with a call from Pope Urban II to free Jerusalem from the Muslims. That is, everyone but British historian Peter Frankopan, whose new book, The First Crusade: the Call from the East, offers a different explanation.

Crusader inscription found in Arabic

A 13th century inscription written in Arabic has been translated and found to be a proclamation by Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II. The inscription is thought to originally be from a wall in Jaffa, Israel. The inscription is the only known example of its kind.

Israeli bus station site of Byzantine houses

More than 70 workers are busy excavating an area beneath the Central Bus Station in Be'er Sheva, Israel. Thus far, the experts have identified the remains of several houses dating to the Byzantine area.

Valizan changes bellydance stereotype in southern Ontario

Canadian bellydancer Rob Galbraith, known as Valizan in the SCA, considers himself a shy person, but those who watch his performance as a male bellydancer, complete with scimitar, would be surprised. Jeff Mahoney of the Toronto Star has the story.

Yavneh-Yam believed to be stronghold of Islamic power

The harbor at Yavneh-Yam in Israel has been an important port since the Roman era, but now researchers think it was also "one of the final strongholds of Early Islamic power in the region."

Topkapı Palace re-opened after renovations

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of Turkey was on hand recently for the re-opening of several sections of Istanbul's famous Topkapı Palace, including the 15th century weapons exhibit, the fourth courtyard and the kitchen.

Papers sought for "The Crusades and Visual Culture"

Elizabeth Lapina of Durham University in Great Britain reports that she is seeking papers and proposals for the upcoming publication, The Crusades and Visual Culture. The submission deadline is December 1, 2011.

14th century Byzantine tombs found in Tyre

Archaeologists have discovered five marble Byzantine tombs dating to the 14th century in the city of Tyre in southern Lebanon. (video)

Wellcome Library brings Arabic medical manuscripts to the internet

Medical historians and students of illuminated manuscripts will want to take a look at the Wellcome Library's Arabic manuscript collection, which includes some of its most important texts of Arabic medicine.

"Mysterious" medieval sites included in AOL list

AOL has published a slideshow of "11 Bizarre and Mysterious Historical Sites," including several from the Middle Ages. (photos)

Saint Philip's tomb discovered in Turkey

Archaeologists working in Pamukkale, Turkey believe they have found the tomb of St. Philip the Apostle. Pamukkale is the modern name of the ancient city of Hierapolis where Philip was killed.

Walters Art Museum features digitized Islamic manuscripts

The Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland has begun a project to digitize its collection of Islamic manuscripts. A gallery of images, including covers and bindings, is available on the museum's website.

6th century Byzantine building found in Acre

Israeli archaeologists have discovered the remains of a 6th century Byzantine public building in the ancient town of Akko (Acre). The discovery is the first physical evidence found of the Christian Bishop of Akko.

Mysteries of the Silk Road revealed at Penn Museum

Colin Renfrew, Senior Fellow of the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research at the University of Cambridge, offers a lecture on the Unsolved Mysteries of the Silk Road. The video is available on YouTube.

[ATE] Middle East Feast

Our shared dream is one that is fueled by a fondness for courtesies and ideals of times gone by, of simple pastimes and joys. In that spirit, we will journey back together, to a time when drumming, dancing, eating, gaming, and visiting were done for the pure joy of it.