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Gold Mining in Arabia and the Rise of the Islamic State

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image of Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient

The financial and economic strengths of the early Islamic state have been a source of ongoing speculation, causing some scholars to even question medieval Makkah's economic reason to exist. This article explores the role of precious metals - gold and silver - in lending vitality to the economy of Western Arabia in the formative years of the Dar al-Islam . Combining primary source evidence with artifacts and qualitative and quantitative analysis of mining residuals, including carbon 14 dating, it produces evidence suggesting that such metals played a far more significant role in contemporary commerce and industry than has been heretofore generally acknowledged.


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