Excavations in Samarra sponsored by the Museum of Islamic Art and carried out by Ernst Herzfeld and Friedrich Sarre in 1911 and 1912/13 brought important finds to the museums of Berlin, Istanbul and London: fragments of rare wall paintings, wooden wall panels, cut glass, countless ceramic shards – including wares imported from China – and especially stucco relief decor that once ornamented large surfaces of residential and palace interiors. Over time, Abbasid stucco workers employed three different decorative styles. The first two are still strongly rooted in the Late Antique, Umayyad tradition. However the third, the so-called beveled style, evolved into a flat, modulated decor of abstract patterns that marks a significant change in Islamic ornament.


  • Title: Capital
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: 9th century
  • Location: Raqqa, Syria
  • Physical Dimensions: w29 x h27 x d29 cm
  • Type: Stucco
  • Medium: Alabaster
  • Inv. no.: I. 2195
  • ISIL no.: DE-MUS-814517
  • External link: Pergamonmuseum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
  • Copyrights: Photo © bpk - Photo Agency / Staatliche Museen zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz / Georg Niedermeiser || Text © Prestel Verlag / Staatliche Museen zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz
  • Collection: Museum für Islamische Kunst, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz

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