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  4. Styles and Periods (hierarchy name)
  5. [styles, periods, and cultures by region]
  6. Islamic World, The
  7. [Islamic World dynastic styles and periods]
  8. Umayyad
Scope note
Refers to a period (660-730 CE) during which that the foundations of Islamic society and civilization are considered to have been established; it is named after an aristocratic family of Mecca that ruled the Islamic empire from Syria for over 90 years. The craftsmen were Syrians, Egyptians, and Persians as the Arabs did not have a developed tradition of craftsmanship at this time. For these reasons, the earliest Islamic art and architecture is noticeably eclectic and it is difficult to establish an identifiable Islamic style. Nevertheless, three separate elements are typically found in Umayyad art, often in the same work: the naturalism of Syria where the Hellenistic tradition was still strong; the more decorative Coptic style of Egypt; and the Sassanian style of Persia which combined Hellenistic elements with aspects of the earlier Achaemenid period. Surviving Umayyad art is mostly in the form of architecture and its decoration, supplemented by some textiles, metalwork, ceramics, ivory, and coins.
Accepted term: 20-May-2024