This book unites new information and surprising results from the last fifteen years of garden research, at a remove from the cliches of Orientalism. Garden archaeology reveals the economic importance of Judean gardens in Roman times and the visual complexity of gardens created and transformed in Moorish Spain. More contemporary approaches unravel the cultural continuities, variations, and differences between gardens in the Middle East since Roman times and in the Islamic world. Scholars present new sources for studies of gardens in India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, the Ottoman world, Judea, Morocco, and Moorish Spain. They explore the interplay of conflicting influences, the cultural reception of gardens in religious and mystical societies, and the political uses of gardens, presenting an unexpected diversity of garden forms in all levels of society.
Michel Conan is Director of Garden and Landscape Studies, Dumbarton Oaks.