The biased interpretation of pre-Islamic inscriptions by Haaretz

Today I decided to take the tram to go to work. Sitting there I started to have a look at Twitter, as most of the people around me were doing. It was then when my attention was caught by a title: “Before Islam: When Saudi Arabia was a Jewish Kingdom“. Saudi Arabia was…what? When? Am…

ISIS black flag – an iconographical reading

ISIS and their black flags is well known. Documentaries have been shot and articles have been written. Yet, the flag in itself sometimes remains unexplained. It is black, with some Arabic words on it, and a white circle with inside, again, some other words. It is their sign, and their marks. It is quite simple in…

May God give light to him: a tombstone from 10th century Iran

I love tombstones… that’s something creepy and well known: I realised that the majority of inscriptions I publish here are from tombstones, but that’s it. Tombstones are not only beautiful, but also a fertile source of information. Some Iranian tombstones, for instance, can be used to trace the history of craftsmen, or to better understand…

Envisioning a Buyid heritage – ‘Amid al-Din at Persepolis 444/1053

In one most famous paper, Oleg Grabar asked ‘Why Write on Buildings?’. And the prominent scholar proposed some reason, and some perspective from which inscriptions and graffiti can be seen and studied. The main point is: if you write something on a wall, probably it is intended to be read, and understood by a certain…