Earthenware basin used in the home to prepare or store food
Early Islamic Period
Object Name: Kitchen basin
Period: Early Islamic Period
Date: 9th century
Provenance: Iraq or Iran
Dimensions: 14 cm height; 25 cm rim diam.
Medium: earthenware
Registration Number: ARC.2009.7.220
Place Of Discovery/Findspot:  Murwab
This earthenware basin comes from the site of Murwab and dates to the 9th century. The design of the lip allows for either a ceramic or wooden lid to be fitted, or cloth or leather to be tied over the top to contain and protect the contents. It was most likely used to store or process food and liquids such as milk and milk products.

The basin has been broken and then carefully repaired: parallel lines of holes have been drilled into the sides so that they could be held together with strong ropes made from animal sinew or plant fibre. Black traces of bitumen (tar) are visible around the holes, making the repairs watertight.

The object was found in an area with other kitchen utensils such as cups, bowls and other basins, offering a good sample of the types of objects used in everyday life. However, it was not made in Qatar and was imported from somewhere else in the region, possibly from Iraq or southern Iran, proving that Murwab was part of a large trading network in the early Abbasid period.
Early Islamic period 622–1000 CE

In 628 CE, the inhabitants of the administrative district of Al Hajar, which included the geographical area of present-day Bahrain, Al-Hasa in eastern Saudi Arabia and Qatar, joined the new religion of Islam. The territory of Qatar was occupied mainly by two tribal groups, the Tamim and the Abd al-Qays.

During the early Abbasid period Qatar was famous, even at the court of Baghdad, for its red-dyed woollen coats, horse breeding and pearls. The entire population of the region benefited greatly from the maritime traffic passing through the Gulf, from Basra to China via India and Southeast Asia, as demonstrated by the large number of archaeological sites particularly in the northern region of Qatar.
Islam, both a religion and a civilisation, was born from the revelation to the Prophet Muhammad of a new monotheism and, at the same time, the foundation of the first state in Arabia. In 622, the Prophet's emigration (‘Hegira’ in Arabic) from Mecca to Medina marked the beginning of the Muslim calendar. By 632 when the Prophet died, Arabia was unified, and the new religion had taken hold throughout the Peninsula.

The great Meccan family of the Umayyads established a hereditary dynasty (661–750). The Umayyads set up their capital outside Arabia, in Damascus, and put in place the tools of imperial power: standardisation of Arabic writing; Arabisation of the administration; monetary reform; unification of weights and measures, etc. The Umayyad caliphate completed the first wave of Islamic conquests.

In 750, the empire reached its maximum expansion for three centuries, from Narbonne in France to Samarkand in Central Asia and Multan in Pakistan. The Abbasids, the second dynasty, asserted their rights as relatives of the Prophet and took over the Empire. In 762, the Abbasids moved the centre of gravity of the caliphate eastwards and founded a new capital, Baghdad, on the lands of the former Persian Empire. By the 9th century, the city had reached the dimensions of Rome or Constantinople at their peak.
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