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Umayyad Building Techniques And The Merging Of Roman-Byzantine And Partho-Sassanian Traditions: Continuity And Change

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Chapter Summary

This chapter analyses the introduction, merging and use of building materials and techniques, architectural typologies and urban patterns, during the Umayyad period in Bilad al-Sham (present day Syria, Palestine and Jordan), within the general framework of the cultural interchange that took place in that period between eastern and western traditions. For most of its history, and especially in Antiquity, this was a frontier area, or a buffer zone in modern terms, between the main regional powers: Egypt and the successive Mesopotamian empires; Persia and Greece; the Seleucid and Ptolemaic kingdoms; Rome and Parthia; Byzantium and the Sassanians. As a result, it not only witnessed war, invasion and destruction, but also fruitful economic and cultural interchange. This frontier was lifted twice: first, during the reign of Alexander, and, secondly with the rise of Islam.

Keywords: architectural typologies; Bilad al-Sham; Byzantium; Egypt; Mesopotamian empires; Palestine; Parthia; Rome; Sassanians; Umayyad building techniques



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