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Ian Straughn

Islamic Archaeology

Archaeology and Religion

Islamic Landscapes

Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology



Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology & the Ancient World
Brown University
Box 1837 / 60 George Street
Providence, RI 02912
Telephone: (401) 863-3188
Fax: (401) 863-9423
[email protected]

Posted at Apr 06/2007 10:31PM:
Reem Yusuf:

Originally a Merchant Clan of the Quraish Tribe from Mecca that converted to Islam in 627 and became the first Muslim Dynasty which ruled from 661 to 750. Muawiya Ibn Abi Sufyan (661-680) the first Caliph of the Umayyads, not only converted the caliphate to a dynasty by designating his son Yazid as the ruler after him, but he also shifted the capital of the Muslim Empire from Mecca to Damascus and made Arabic the administrative language. Although they maintained stability with the Byzantine Empire, the Islamic power expanded rapidly during the Umayyad period and remarkable military, administrative, and agricultural developments were established. They gained large wealth by collecting taxes, which helped expand the empire and helped erecting great architectural monuments such as The Dome of the Rock in Palestine (691-92) built by Abd Al-Malik (685-105) who replaced the Byzantine coins with Islamic style coinage. The Great Mosque of Damascus that was enlarged by Al-Walid (705-15) to occupy the entire Roman Temenos and mayn other buildings. The Umayyads were divided into two branches: 1) The Sufyanid, descending from Abu Sufyan. 2) The Marwanids, descending from Marwan and his successors. In 750 the Umayyads were murdered and Abd Al-Rahman was the only one to survive who then escaped to Spain and established the Umayyads of Cordoba. In that same year the Abbasid Dynasty took over the Islamic Empire.