THE ISLAMIC GLASS BEAKER WITH WHEEL-CUT DECORATION FROM RAYA, SOUTH SINAI
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More than ten thousand pieces of Islamic glass were found from the fort of Raya in the five excavations between 1987 and 2001 by the Middle Eastern Culture Center in Japan (directed by Dr. Mutsuo Kawatoko). An intact flaring beaker with the pseudo-script design by cut technique which was found in the upper part of Room No. 12-6 in the fifth excavation in 2001 is worthy to be called a masterpiece among them.<BR>As a result of the examination, I have reached the following conclusions. 1) The flaring beaker excavated from Raya can be dated to the second half of the tenth century by the composition of high potassium, the peculiar shape and style of decoration. 2) The close relationship between the flaring beaker and the long-necked bottle with cut decoration for the set of drinking vessels can be pointed out. Both of them were traded over a wide area, but unearthed in limited sites in local powerful cities of the Islamic period. On the other side, a cylindrical beaker and a coarse large bottle in pale bluish-green were used for practical use. 3) The Iraqi influences under the Abbasid dynasty and the technical traditions of Syro-Palestine can be seen in the Raya finds, so it is worth noting that this beaker related to the Fatimid dynasty of the latter half of the tenth century appeared under these circumstances. This suggests that some power changes or changes of trading system occurred right in Raya.
Orient (39), 18-38, 2004
THE SOCIETY FOR NEAR EASTERN STUDIES IN JAPAN