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        Water in Islamic Art

        View this Islamic Art: Mirror of the Invisible World video clip and image gallery of Islamic art objects related to the theme of water and consider how they are reflective of Islamic culture. View a hand basin from India, an ewer from the Near East, the Alhambra fountain, a waterwheel from Syria and water storage basins form Tunisia.

        http://www.islamicart.tv/

        Hand Basin: 18 C. India

        This image depicts a hand basin from 18th C. India. It was a widespread custom in the Islamic world to wash one's hands before entering a house, and basins like this one were also used before meals. The lid is perforated so that the sight of dirty water did not bother the guests.

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        Ewer: 8 C. Near East

        This ewer belongs to a transitional type in which new features began to emerge that became typical of early Islamic metal ewers. The little zoomorphic legs that imitate animal hoofs are a characteristic example of this. The handle with beads and especially the elegant palmettes were to become common in various forms, as were the leaf-shaped decorations on the rim. While the palmettes were essentially adopted from Antiquity, the engraved quotation from the Koran, written in Kufi, is purely Islamic.

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        Alhambra Fountain, Court of the Lions: 9 C. Spain

        This image depicts the Court of the Lions in the heart of the Alhambra, the Moorish citadel formed by a complex of palaces, gardens and forts in Granada, Spain. The court is divided into four parts, each one of them symbolizing one of the four parts of the world. Each segment is irrigated by a water channel that symbolizes the four rivers of Paradise.

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        Waterwheel: Hama, Syria

        This image depicts a waterwheel from Hama, Syria. On the River Orontes, waterwheels were essential for irrigation. Developed by the Romans, they were improved and used by the Islamic cultures right up until the twentieth century.

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        Water Storage Basins: Kairouan, Tunisia

        This image depicts a water storage basin from Kairouan, Tunisia. Developed by the Romans and improved upon by the Islamic Dynasties, these basins provided clean drinking water to the local citizens.

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        Water Video

        This "Islamic Art: Mirror of the Invisible World" clip introduces the universal, cyclical and continuous nature of water, as well as its important role in sustaining life.

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