Die unverzierte frühislamische Keramik aus Kharab Sayyar, Nordostsyrien
Compared to other archaeological disciplines, early Islamic archaeology is still a relatively new field of study, in which several gaps in research are yet to fill, particularly in the field of the study of ceramic, which is central to the cultural and chronological placement of an excavation site. The work at hand presents plain ceramic, not decorated with elaborate plastic decorations, painting or glaze, from the early Islamic site Kharab Sayyar in the north-east of Syria, which has been explored by the Goethe University Frankfurt am Main since 1997, and thus makes it available to the academic research community for the first time. Using a catalogue of goods based on macroscopic and product-related technical considerations as well as a comprehensive typological catalogue documented in drawings and photographs, comparisons to material from other early Islamic sites in Syria, Turkey, Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon are drawn, making it possilbe to place the early Islamic town Kharab Sayyar within its culture-historical and political context and the surrounding region possible. Furthermore, x-ray fluorescence and thin section analyses of samples of different ceramic goods revealed specific chemical and petrographic characteristics of the goods, which provide some insight into the production process and the raw materials used, as well as allowing scientifically substantiated definitions of the examined goods. All in all, the results of these studies constitute a major contribution to the study of early Islamic ceramic in the 8th to 10th centuries and of the cultural development of the Abbasid empire in the north-east of Syria, additionally demonstrating the importance of Kharab Sayyar as a main point of reference for archaeological and historical research on the early Islamic period.