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Islam, the second largest and the youngest of the major world religions, has changed the world and left its mark on human history since the appearance of the prophet Mohammed in the seventh century. This book follows the historical development of the Islamic dynasties and regions, showing the variety of their forms of artistic expression from the beginning until today. From decorative elements of buildings to calligraphy and the embellishment of everyday objects, ornamentation, that most characteristic Islamic art form, is displayed in an extraordinary rich range of ways. The contributions of important scholars bring this culture to life, which belongs next to Greek and Roman antiquity as one of the pillars of our modern society.