‘Christian communities remained prosperous and artisans continued to produce numerous artefacts.’
The conquest of the Middle-Eastern region that arches across the northern part of the Syrian Desert and extends to the Nile Valley encompassing the Tigris and Euphrates rivers – in modern times known as the Fertile Crescent – was undertaken in the name of Islam. The period of Umayyad rule that followed brought fewer changes for the Christian population than is popularly thought, for while Muslim communities were concentrated in the cities and in newly established towns as a military elite, the Christians continued to live in small towns and in the countryside and were not excluded from government posts.
Christian communities remained prosperous and artisans continued to produce numerous artefacts such as lamps, for both religious and secular use; Christian imagery appears on many of them.
Few churches went out of use. The three-aisled basilica church was the most commonly seen and, as might be expected, churches in towns were usually more sumptuous than those in rural areas. Many churches of the era are famous for their beautiful floor mosaics.