Joint Palestinian-American dig near Jericho yields clues about early Islamic culture
October 26, 2011
As the Byzantine Empire was in decline, Islam began to dominate the Middle East, with a remarkable culture that showed a command of technology and an appreciation of art and decoration, research by archaeologists shows.
In order to study Islamic civilization in its earliest days, Donald Whitcomb, who directs the Islamic Archaeology project at the Oriental Institute, is undertaking a project with Palestinian colleagues to further excavate an early Islamic site north of Jericho that contains a palace, a bathhouse and what was probably a settlement to the north.
Whitcomb excavated the site at Khirbet Al-Mafjar last winter and will return in January as part of a joint archaeological project that will include Americans and Palestinians. The team already has uncovered a gate and a stairway that led to a residential town to the north, where the team uncovered an ornamental pool surrounded by white mosaic paving, glass vials, lamps and other artifacts...
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