Umayyad Frescos from Quṣayr ʿAmra, mid-8th century AD, Syrian, in situ, Jordan.

These early Islamic frescoes have strong Persian and Byzantine influences. The original castle complex was built in 723-743 by Walid Ibn Yazid, the future Umayyad Caliph Walid II. It was a fortress with military garrison and residence of the Umayyad Caliphs. Today only the royal pleasure cabin remains, with reception hall and hammam or bath house.


Sagittarius in the Dome of the Caldarium

Picture source: traveladventures.org




Referenced as Figure 122 in The military technology of classical Islam by D Nicolle
122. Frescoes from Quṣayr ʿAmra, mid-8th century AD, Syrian, in situ, Jordan.

Vol. 1 p.171: Other evidence indicates that scale hauberks were widely used in the so-called Dark Ages, both within the world of Islam (Figs. 115, 122, 123, 189, 210, 258, 292, 305, 340, 384, 385, 416, 498, 515, 545, 548, 576, 577, 580, 581, 597, 603, 604C, 606, 609 and 659) and beyond (Figs. 196, 213, 229, 239, 241, 413, 417, 418, 446, 557, 586, 587, 609B and 634).

Vol. 1 p.217: Mail defences, migifars or zardīyah coifs, chasmak or sirash aventails,35 or giriban throat-covering gorgets,36 all appear in the pictorial sources and seem to have been quite widespread (Figs. 122, 146, 220B, 292, 422, 428, 430, 435, 445, 446, 447 and 507).

35. Mubārakshāh, op. cit., p. 252; Firdawsī, op. cit., pp. 59 and 725; Ayyuqī, op. cit., verse 710.
36. Firdawsī, op. cit., p. 818.

Vol. 2 p.346: Such a diversity of equipment is also portrayed in Umayyad art. Most of the heavy armour is shown on infantry in such sources (Figs. 122, 123, 124, 127, 141, 339 and 340). Yet this need not be a major difficulty, as at that time there appears to have been little specialization of equipment and hardly much more of military function. In one case (Fig. 122) warriors are represented with long-bladed spears of a type that will later be associated with cavalry. They are, in fact, probably horsemen as they stand in iconographic balance with apparently infantry warriors (Fig. 122) on the walls on either side of an enthroned ruler or prince at Quṣayr ʿAmr.

A plan and elevation: A Bathhouse in Jordan: Qusayr 'Amra
Reference: Garth Fowden Qu?ayr ?Amra: Art and the Umayyad Elite in Late Antique Syria (2004)
More photos: Art Destination Jordan, Qusayr Amra

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See also A reconstruction of the Umayyad, Qasr al-Hayr al-Gharbi floor - Plate B “Deux fresques omeyyades,” Syria 25, 1946-48 by D. Schlumberger
Umayyad Soldiers on a Coin of Yazīd ibn al Muhallab, early 8th century AD, Gurgān: Coll. of the American Numismatic Society.
Other Illustrations of Arabian Costume & Soldiers
Other 8th century Illustrations of Costume and Soldiers