Islam

A new exhibition at the Museum for Islamic Art in Jerusalem explores the fascinating history of coffee.

Tracing Coffee's Travels From the East to the West

New exhibition explores how the caffeinated beverage sparked religious controversy and technical innovation

Researchers analyzed the Sudanese landscape with a model originally created to analyze the spatial patterns of stars and galaxies.

These Medieval Islamic Tombs in Sudan Were Laid Out Like Galaxies

Some of the burials appear to be clustered around "parent" funerary mounds of seeming cultural significance

At the library of St. Mark’s Syrian Orthodox Monastery in Jerusalem, Stewart and Abouna Shimon Can, a monk, view centuries-old Syriac manuscripts.

This American Monk Travels the World to Rescue Ancient Documents From Oblivion

Father Columba Stewart has visited sites from Kathmandu to Timbuktu in his mission to safeguard precious manuscripts that tell humanity's story

An architect concealed and conserved the historic bathhouse while constructing a hotel on the site in the early 20th century.

Cool Finds

Archaeologists Discover 12th-Century Bathhouse Hidden in Spanish Tapas Bar

The Seville establishment's owners uncovered traces of the historic structure while conducting renovations

The color purple has long been associated with royalty. This wool fabric found in Israel dates to around 1,000 B.C.

Cool Finds

'Royal Purple' Fabric Dated to Time of Biblical King David Found in Israel

Derived from the bodies of snails, the dye used on the wool fibers was extremely valuable in the ancient world

The second season of "The Spanish Princess" presents a highly dramatized version of the Battle of Flodden. In actuality, the queen (seen here in a c. 1520 portrait) never rode directly into battle.

Based on a True Story

When Catherine of Aragon Led England's Armies to Victory Over Scotland

In 1513, Henry VIII's first queen—acting as regent in her husband's absence—secured a major triumph at the Battle of Flodden

Two volunteers found a cache of 425 gold coins that date back to the ninth century A.D.

Cool Finds

Israeli Teens Discover Trove of 1,100-Year-Old Gold Coins

The 24-carat currency dates to the ninth century, when the Abbasid Caliphate ruled much of the Near East and North Africa

Today, the figurative field of battle has become a literal one: Israel's Sharon Plain.

Study Identifies Site Where Crusader King Richard the Lionheart Defeated Saladin

In September 1191, the English monarch's forces secured victory over the sultan's army at the Battle of Arsuf

Saba Ali, right, and Contemporary Muslim Fashions from the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Smithsonian Voices

Contemporary Muslim Fashions Are Having Their Day in the Sun

Ranging from high-performance sportswear to haute couture, emerging and established designers are meeting the needs of stylish Muslim women

Aerial view of Istanbul's Hagia Sophia

Turkey Controversially Converts Hagia Sophia From Museum Into Mosque

The move has attracted criticism from Unesco, Pope Francis, the Russian Orthodox Church and others

As protesters citing Louis IX’s history as a crusader call for the statue’s removal, counter-protesters ardently protect it.

History of Now

In St. Louis, History and Nostalgia Battle It Out

The city's Catholic community faces off against protesters over a statue honoring the city's namesake

This 1484 copy of Tuhfat al-Ahrar was produced during the lifetime of Jāmī, considered Iran's last great mystical poet.

The National Library of Israel Will Digitize 2,500 Rare Islamic Manuscripts

The cultural institution estimates that the process will take three years to complete

The 2,000-year-old subterranean system consists of a courtyard and two rooms.

Cool Finds

Underground Chambers Discovered Near Jerusalem's Western Wall

Carved into bedrock, the mysterious rooms spent 1,400 years hidden beneath the mosaic floor of a Byzantine building

Worshippers, some of them wearing protective masks, take part in the Friday prayers at Mecca's Grand Mosque on March 6, 2020, a day after Saudi authorities emptied Islam's holiest site for sterilization.

Covid-19

This Pandemic Isn't the First Time the Hajj Has Been Disrupted for Muslims

Plague, war and politics have altered the yearly pilgrimage to Mecca throughout history

The rook in question certainly wasn't the first chess piece ever created, but it may be the oldest found to date.

Cool Finds

Is This Chess Piece Unearthed in Jordan the World's Oldest?

The two-pronged rook, found in a seventh-century trading post, shows how quickly the game spread across the Islamic world

The Mustansiriya was built during the 13th century.

What the Restoration of Iraq’s Oldest University Says About the Nation's Future

The Mustansiriya has withstood centuries of war, floods and architectural butchery, but can it survive its own restoration?

Cool Finds

Fear of Foreign Food May Have Led to the Death of This Crusader King

A new analysis shows France's Louis IX and much of his army suffered from advanced scurvy during the Eighth Crusade in Tunisia

Palestinians gather to perform the Friday prayer at the Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound in Jerusalem

A Small Fire Broke Out at Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque as Flames Ravaged Notre-Dame

The blaze left the Islamic holy site largely untouched, damaging a single mobile guard booth

Dugger makes a stylish statement by superimposing vibrant images of women jumping and twirling over photographs of patterned mats common in Nigeria.

In Nigeria, the Veil Is a Fashion Statement

Artist Medina Dugger finds joy in a colorful yet complicated symbol of faith

A portait of Omar Ibn Said made around the 1850s

Only Surviving Arabic Slave Narrative Written in the United States Digitized by Library of Congress

Omar Ibn Said, a wealthy intellectual from West Africa, wrote about his capture and enslavement in America