Middle Eastern

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

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.

Smithsonian exhibit sparks controversy

A display of 9th century Chinese pottery, discovered in 1998 in the wreck of an Arabic ship near Indonesia, has sparked controvery in the archaeological community. Shipwrecked: Tang Treasures and Monsoon Winds, was scheduled to be exhibited at Washington's Smithsonian Institution.

Coptic nuns deface Egyptian temple

The Egyptian gods must have been angry when 6th century Coptic nuns used the walls of their temple for personal comments. The graffiti has been discovered at the 3200-year-old temple at Abydos.

Visit Acre: "the crusaders' hip and happening capital"

Looking for the perfect summer vacation? Why not plan a truly period trip to the City of Acre. Robyn Young and Tom Hall of BBC History offer travel trips.

[WES] Mists Spring Investiture

Their Highnesses of the Mists, Mikolaj and Vittoria, invite all to witness and celebrate the Investiture of Their Heirs.

Vandalism mars 16th century Persian masterpieces

Auction houses have long profited from the 19th century practice of destroying precious painted manuscripts from Iran, India or Turkey by selling pages ripped from the books. Souren Melikian of the New York Times looks at this phenomenon.

Quintavia Hafla: "What a party there was!"

“The Hafla is my favorite event because they get the sights and smells right,”  said  SCA member Janet Johnston about a recent event in the Shire of Quintavia (East Kingdom). Rebecca Alty of The Item spent the day at the Hafla and reported her experience.

Huffington Post's overlooked wonders

Tired of the same, old tourist attractions? Huffington Post has some ideas for the Most Overlooked Historic Sites In The World in slideshow format.

A short history of fabric in the Middle East

In a recent online issue of Saudi Aramco World Magazine, the history of fabric in the Middle East from the 11th century forward is discussed. Such fabrics as gauze and muslin were once very different from the way they are known today.

[MER] Saltare Collegium 2011

Are you interested in dance? Do you want to learn some new and interesting dances? Do you need to brush up on the old standards? Do you have a favorite dance you'd like to teach? Do you just want to get out on the floor with the kingdom's best dancers? If so, this is the event you've been waiting for!

Medieval siege in Cairo?

The recent political protests in Egypt have brought together strange bedfellows, some of whom must have included engineers, according to photographer David Degner, who caught a group of protesters using a siege engine.

Early Byzantine church discovered in Israel

Israeli archaeologists are excited over the discovery of a 6th century Byzantine church in the desert southwest of Jerusalem. The small basilica features "exquisitely decorated" mosaic floors.

Huge copy of the Koran to be digitized

A 500-year-old, handwritten copy of the Koran, owned by the University of Manchester's John Rylands Library, has been scheduled to be digitized and available online. The manuscript is the size of a large-screen television, and it is too fragile to be displayed. (photos)

Illinois college students to explore "day-to-day life in the Roman courtyside"

A team of Knox College (Galesburg, Illinois) professors and their students will spend the summer studying Tall Dhiban, an archeological site near the modern town of Dhiban in west-central Jordan.

[OUT] Shake the Midwinter Blues

Please join us on Saturday, February 26, 2011 from 6pm until midnight for a night of drumming, dancing, good food, and great company as we share Estrella War "No S**t" stories.

3rd century bathhouses prove Roman social advancement in Syria

The discovery of several luxurious Roman bathhouses in Bosra, Syria demonstrates that the area was an important part of Roman social life in the area, according to Director of Bosra Antiquities Department Wafaa al-Audi.

[EAS] Winter Hafla

Welcome to the Shire of Quintavia's annual Hafla. Come join us for a day of Middle Eastern dancing, classes, food and performances. We invite you to bring your Persian rugs, pillows, dancing shoes, musical instruments, and a warm smile, and join us for a day and evening in the Middle East.

Byzantine-era burials found in Syria

Archaeologists working at Jabal al-Sin, Syria on the Euphrates River have found cemeteries dating to the era of the Byzantine Empire.

[ATL] A Day In the Middle East

The Barony of Dun Carraig invites you to return to another day in the Medieval Middle East. There will be the usual drumming, dancing and enough fabulous food & drink to keep all attendees happy throughout the day.

Call for Assistance in Afghanistan

Tymothe Rankyn of Cathanar (Sgt Eric Rankin, USMC) reports that gentles serving in the military at Kandahar Air Field in Afghanistan have created an SCA group, and are in need of rapier equipment.

6th century mosaics lead to discovery of Roman city

Sometimes crime does pay, at least when it comes to archaeological discoveries. An illegal 2007 excavation of a home in southeast Turkey has revealed the Roman-era city of Germenicia. (photo)

Determining the date of Christmas

For many centuries, western Christians have celebrated the birth of Jesus Christ on December 25, while those of the Eastern Orthodox faiths have celebrated it a week later. How did experts determine the date? Andrew McGowan of Biblical Archaeology Review has some answers.

Maps from Piri Reis to Katip Çelebi' at Vatican

An exhibition of maps from the Ottoman Empire will be on display at the Vatican this winter. The Ottoman Worldview from Piri Reis to Katip Çelebi', a traveling exhibit, was created in celebration of the 400th anniversary of the birth of Katip Çelebi'.

Persian garb patterns

On the Middle Eastern Dance Guild website, Melinda Haren (Mistress Roxane Farabi Shahzadeh) has posted a number of patterns for Persian garb that she has created.

Resources for period Middle Eastern music online

Those interested in Middle Eastern music and dance may want to visit George Dimitri Sawa's website, which offers information and links on period Arabic musical instruments and dancing.

Tall al-Shir dig reveals centuries of construction

Workers at the Tall al-Shir archaeological dig in Syria have so far uncovered three layers of history dating back to the Roman and Greek eras. A recent find including walls from the late Byzantine period.

Rarely-seen 9th century carpet mosaic displayed briefly in Jericho

In honor of the 10,000th birthday of the city of Jericho, officials gave visitors a rare glimpse of a 1,200-year-old carpet mosaic measuring nearly 900 square meters (9,700 square feet) which once graced the floor of the main bath house of an Islamic palace. (photo)

Advanced technologies planned to digitize the Dead Sea Scrolls

Thanks to several major gifts, the Israel Antiquities Authority plans to digitize the entire Dead Sea Scrolls collection and "make the images freely available and accessible to anyone anywhere in the world on the internet."