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A global history of the Islamic world, told through superb art objects and cultural artefacts dating from the 7th century to the present

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This illustrated introduction offers a fresh approach to the history of the Islamic world from its origins to the present day. Told in six chapters, arranged both chronologically and thematically, and richly enhanced with outstanding images, it provides an illuminating insight into the material culture produced from West Africa to Southeast Asia through art and artefacts, people and places.

From pre-Islamic works that provided a foundation for the arts of Islam to masterpieces produced under the great empires and objects that continue to be made today, this expansive survey traces the development of civilizations at the forefront of philosophical and scientific ideas, artistic and literary developments, and technological innovations, exploring a wealth of cultural treasures along the way. Texts are accompanied by a wide variety of objects, including architectural decoration, ceramics, jewellery, metalwork, calligraphy, textiles, musical instruments, coins, illustrated manuscripts, and modern and contemporary art, all of which shed new light on the Islamic world both past and present. This book will inspire and inform anyone interested in one of the most influential and diverse cultures of the world.

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'Handsomely illustrated … offers a fresh approach by looking at the finest arts alongside rarely seen archaeological material from daily life … Anyone interested in the Islamic world should have this book'
Timeless Travels

Product Information

Book Details

Format: Hardback

Size: 24.0 x 17.0 cm

Extent: 272 pp

Publication date: 4 October 2018

ISBN: 9780500480403

Contents List

Introduction • 1. A history of histories • 2. Belief and practice • 3. Interconnected worlds (750–1500) • 4. The age of empires (1500–1900) • 5. Literary and musical traditions • 6. The modern world • 7. Glossary • 8. Selected bibliography • 9. Acknowledgements • 10. Credits • 11. Index

About the Author

Ladan Akbarnia is Curator, Islamic Collections and Arts of the Book at the British Museum.

Venetia Porter is Curator, Islamic and Contemporary Middle East Art at the British Museum.

Fahmida Suleman is Phyllis Bishop Curator for the Modern Middle East at the British Museum.

William Greenwood is Albukhary Foundation Curator of the Islamic World at the British Museum.

Zeina Klink-Hoppe is Phyllis Bishop Curator for the Modern Middle East at the British Museum.

Amandine Mérat is Project Curator, Albukhary Foundation Gallery of the Islamic World at the British Museum.