Basra: Mat Makers

Date: 836 and later

The historian and geographer al-Yaʿqubi (d. 897-98), records the creation of the new city of Samarra by caliph al-Muʿtasim (r. 833-42). Al-Yaʿqubi writes the caliph summoned artisans from across the Abbasid empire to the site to work on the construction project. These included glass workers, potters, and makers of mats from Basra. Kufa provided more potters and the makers of different types of paint. See also: Basket Maker; Woven Tray Maker; Rope Maker; Tent Maker.

Citation: Ahmad al-Yaʿqubi, Kitāb al-buldān, ed., M. de Goeje (Leiden: Brill, 1892), p. 264. Translated by Arthur Rhuvon Guest in K. A. C. Creswell, Early Muslim Architecture (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1932-40), II, p. 231.

Also: Milwright, Marcus. Islamic Arts and Crafts: An Anthology (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2017), pp. 32-33.