The Byzantine-Islamic Transition in Palestine: An Archaeological Approach

Hardcover | February 28, 2014

byGideon Avni

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Using a comprehensive evaluation of recent archaeological findings, Avni addresses the transformation of local societies in Palestine and Jordan between the sixth and eleventh centuries AD. Arguing that these archaeological findings provide a reliable, though complex, picture, Avni illustrateshow the Byzantine-Islamic transition was a much slower and gradual process than previously thought, and that it involved regional variability, different types of populations, and diverse settlement patterns. Based on the results of hundreds of excavations, including Avni's own surveys and excavations in the Negev, Beth Guvrin, Jerusalem, and Ramla, the volume reconstructs patterns of continuity and change in settlements during this turbulent period, evaluating the process of change in a dynamicmulticultural society and showing that the coming of Islam had no direct effect on settlement patterns and material culture of the local population. The change in settlement, stemming from internal processes rather than from external political powers, culminated gradually during the Early Islamicperiod. However, the process of Islamization was slow, and by the eve of the Crusader period Christianity still had an overwhelming majority in Palestine and Jordan.

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Using a comprehensive evaluation of recent archaeological findings, Avni addresses the transformation of local societies in Palestine and Jordan between the sixth and eleventh centuries AD. Arguing that these archaeological findings provide a reliable, though complex, picture, Avni illustrateshow the Byzantine-Islamic transition was a ...

Gideon Avni is the Head of the Archaeological Division in the Israel Antiquities Authority and a lecturer at the Institute of Archaeology at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem. His academic interests focus on various aspects of Classical, Late Antique and Early Islamic archaeology, the cultural and religious transformation of the Near E...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:400 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.98 inPublished:February 28, 2014Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199684332

ISBN - 13:9780199684335

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Table of Contents

List of IllustrationsPreface and AcknowledgementsPrologue Four Eyewitness Accounts versus 'Arguments in Stone'1. Shifting Paradigms for the Byzantine: Islamic Transition2. From Polis to Madina: The Evolution of Large Urban Communities3. A Tale of Two Cities: Jerusalem and Ramla in the Early Islamic Period4. The Changing Land: Settlement Patterns and Ethnic Identities5. The Transformation of Settlement and Society: A Synthesis6. ConclusionAppendix I: Cities in Byzantine Palestine, Phoenice, and ArabiaAppendix II: Early Islamic Settlements in Palestine and JordanAppendix III: Regional Surveys Byzantine and Early Islamic SitesBibliographyIndex