Middle Eastern

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

[LOC] Alhambra Nights

Stowe on the Wowld presents Alhambra Nights, a mediaeval feast of Moorish food. September 8, 2012.

"Fake" shroud one of many

“The Turin Shroud is only one of the many burial cloths which were circulating in the Christian world during the Middle Ages. There were at least 40,” said Antonio Lombatti of the Università Popolare in Parma, Italy. His paper on the subject is scheduled to appear in Studi Medievali.

Which came first, the pizza or the manakish?

Food historians have long debated the history of the pizza, and whether or not it was derived from manakish, a flat, baked dough covered with lamb and cheese, eaten in the Middle East.

Controversy continues over role of Hagia Sophia

Devout Muslims in Istanbul are calling for the re-opening of the historic 6th century Hagia Sofia as a mosque. The move would break a Turkish law prohibiting worship in the monument.

4th century synagogue vandalized in Israel

Israel Antiquities Authority deputy director Uzi Dahari reports that vandals, possibly ultra-Orthodox Jews, have damaged a rare 5th century mosaic in a synagogue in the northern Israeli city of Tiberias.

Samson mosaic graces "monumental synagogue" discovery in Galilee

A team of archaeologists has discovered a "monumental" synagogue dating to the 4th or 5th centuries C.E. in excavations at Huqoq in Israel’s Galilee. The excavations revealed a "stunning" mosaic depicting Samson "placing torches between the tails of foxes." (photo)

Stunning locations mark Morrocan Roman ruins

Most tourists of Roman sites rave about the beauty of Rome or Hadrian's Wall, but most ignore Roman Morocco. In an article for The Star Online, Paul Schemm looks at several Roman sites in Morocco.

British Library announces plan to digitize Persian documents

The PARSA Community Foundation is teaming up with the British Library and others to provide online access to the Library's 11,000 Iranian manuscripts, one of the largest and best known in the world. The project is scheduled to be completed in 2014.

[LOC] A Night in Palermo

The Guilds of Middle Eastern Dancing and Cookery invite one and all to "An Evening in Palermo"

New book studies distortions of First Crusade histories

In a recent article for the New York Times Sunday Review, author and director of the Center for Byzantine Research at Oxford, Peter Frankopan,  discusses his new book The First Crusade: The Call From the East.

Romeo and Juliet in Baghdad

The World Shakespeare Festival in Stratford-upon-Avon, England has a unique offering this year, a new take on Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet called Romeo and Juliet in Baghdad where the couple are not divided by family squabbles but by religious sects.

Met exhibit marks Constantinople's first "Arab Spring"

The recent Arab Spring, in North Africa and the Middle East, was not the first, according to a Deborah Amos report on NPR. The first was the conflict of culture between the Byzantine Empire and the new Islamic religion in the seventh century to the ninth centuries.

12th century Persian poem receives modern artistic treatment

The Conference of the Birds, an epic Persian poem written by Farid ud-Din Attar in the 1100s, is being published as an artistic version of a graphic novel. The poem was adapted by Czech illustrator Peter Sis.

Ancient Arabic manuscripts reveal abnormal weather patterns

Modern scientists hope to study global weather patterns with the help of ancient scholars. Using writings from 9th and 10th century Iraq, a team of scientists from the Universidad de Extremadura hope to learn about climate change by comparing ancient and modern data.

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.