Different types of ceramic products becoming widely used and distributed in Eastern Europe since the end of VII-VI millennium BC.
Because of its ancient civilizations, this area has a long history of ceramic production.
In the Islamic period, conquests and trade within the region and beyond resulted in technological innovations such as metallic glazing, a wide color palette, and the imitation and adaptation of Chinese production techniques long before these innovations reached the West.
Despite the frailty of the medium, examples of these important, early ceramics often survived unscathed and are found in museums the world over.
The biggest collections, however, are still in the Middle East and North Africa.
Ceramics constitute a valuable source of information on many aspects of human civilization and society, such as economics, art, technology, and domestic life.
Islamic ceramics additionally serve as important evidence of secular or non-religious art in Islam.
For example, although representation of the human figure was forbidden in Islamic religious art, products intended for domestic use—such as ceramic plates, cups, and bowls—often featured human figures, along with the calligraphy and more abstract vegetal and geometric designs usually associated with Islamic art.
This website offers an image database of an important Islamic art form: ceramics.
The museum is a state institution established in 2000 in the 19th-century palace of a prince of Egypt’s former royal family.
Images of all 302 pieces of Islamic ceramics, spanning the Islamic period (7th-19th centuries), represent Egypt and other areas of the Middle East such as Iran and Turkey that were important ceramic production sites, making this an excellent resource for classroom use.
Ceramics are a central, if often neglected, art form of the Middle East and North Africa.