Online Sources

Note: The list below gives online resources, grouped according to category. These online resources include historical photographs, videos, and texts that are relevant for the study of the traditional crafts of Syria and the surrounding regions. These are provided for the purposes of further study and the compilers of this site ( do not take responsibility for the content or opinions contained within the following sites. All links were active at the time of compilation (1 June 2017).



Architecture and Archaeological Sites
  • For the major monuments and archaeological sites, and an assessment of their current status:


  • A comprehensive photographic archive of the architecture the regions of the Roman empire that subsequently were incorporated into the territories of Islam. The site is particularly helpful for Late Antique and early Islamic material:


  • A site devoted to the architecture of the Mamluk period in Syria:


  • The Gertrude Bell archive contains the photographs and notes taken by Gertrude Bell (d. 1926) during her travels through the Middle East:


  • A resource on the Frankish (Crusader) sites of Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel and Turkey:


  • Photographs of monuments in Aleppo and the surrounding regions:


  • For photographs of buildings and locations in Syria by Daniel Demeter taken between 2006 and 2009:


  • For architecture and urban environments across the Islamic world, and providing links to other research on these topics:

Architectural Decoration
  • An essay by Ellen Kenney on the ‘Damascus Room’ in the Metropolitan Museum:

Portable Arts: General
  • A site providing evidence about at the traditional crafts of Greater Syria:


  • A collection of videos dealing with craft activities in Damascus:


  • Paper on the Syrian objects in the Doris Duke Collection in Shangri La:


  • Aga Khan Museum, Toronto: Syria, a Living History:

  • Jewish metalwork in Mamluk style and work by the Bezalel school in the Jewish Museum, New York:


  • Imperial War Museum. Examples of ‘Trench Art’ including one in ‘Mamluk Revival’ style (identified as having been produced by Turkish prisoners-of-war, but probably by craftsmen in Damascus):

  • A study resource on the ceramics traditions of the Islamic Middle East (including sections on Tell Minis and Raqqa):


  • Article from 2004 about a pottery workshop in Aleppo:

  • A blog about traditional textile manufacture and sale in Syria:


  • Short essay about embroidery in Aleppo:


  • E-book about the Syrian silk industry:


  • Short article on the ‘textile cultures’ of Syria:


  • Video about the last examples of Damascus silk produced on handlooms (from 2009):

  • A documentary film about different aspects of woodworking in Syria in 2015:


  • Lecture by Bernard O’Kane about minbars of Syria and Egypt of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries:


  • A site looking at the making of Syrian inlaid furniture:


  • Interview with Rahim Akbar, an American Muslim woodworker who has installed work at the Royal Ontario Museum:


  • An article about the production of wooden dowry chests across the Middle East:

Cultural Heritage

For the issue of the destruction of cultural heritage, including the current situation in Syria, see the following collection of online essays:

  • The Destruction of Cultural Heritage: From Napoléon to ISIS, organized by Pamela Karimi and Nasser Rabbat. The Aggregate Architectural History Collaborative.


  • UNESCO site about intangible cultural heritage in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria:


  • Evidence of looting and other damage in Syria:


  • Guardian Story from 2015 on destruction of Palmyra: