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The Paper And Textile Industry In The Land Of Israel And Its Raw Materials In Light Of An Analysis Of The Cairo Genizah Documents

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Chapter Summary

The Arab conquest was followed in al-Šām by several changes in agriculture and agriculture-based industry as part of an adaptation to the new conditions that were created in the region that had newly come under Islamic control. This chapter shows that there was a connection between the paper industry and the cotton industry. To illustrate this point, the Hula Valley region, whose inhabitants had previously raised flax for cloth and papyrus for papermaking, turned to the cultivation of cotton and began to manufacture the new paper which was based on the local textile industry. The chapter examines this account, which is strongly supported by an analysis of the historical sources, by analysing the composition of the paper taken from documents from the land of Israel in the Middle Ages which were found in the Cairo Genizah.

Keywords: al-Šām; Cairo Genizah; Israel; paper industry; textile industry



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