Dr. Elizabeth Macaulay-Lewis

About Dr. Elizabeth Macaulay-Lewis

Dr. Elizabeth Macaulay-Lewis is Contributing Editor for the Arts of the Islamic World. She brings her expertise in Islamic and Roman architecture, art and archaeology, as well as in digital scholarship and pedagogy to the Smarthistory Board. She has served on the Governing Board of the Archaeological Institute of America and of the American Schools of Oriental Research. Her books include Bayt Farhi and the Sephardic Palaces of Ottoman Damascus in the Late 18th and 19th Centuries (2018), Classical New York: Discovering Greece and Rome in Gotham (2018), and Housing the New Romans: Classical Style and the Housing the New Romans: Architectural Reception and Classical Style in the Modern World (2017). She is currently an Associate Professor at The Graduate Center, The City University of New York and the Executive Officer of the M.A. in Liberal Studies.

The Pyxis of al-Mughira
This florid box, designed to hold cosmetics, attests to the rich ivory carving tradition of Islamic Spain.

Pyxis of al-Mughira

The Kaaba, granite masonry, covered with silk curtain and calligraphy in gold and silver-wrapped thread, pre-Islamic monument, rededicated by Muhammad in 631-32 C.E.
Located in Mecca, this square shrine is the holiest site in Islam. Muslims direct their prayers toward it.

The Kaaba

View of the Courtyard of the Great Mosque of Damascus, photo: Eric Shin, CC BY-NC 2.0
Islam, one the world’s main monotheistic faiths, was founded in the 7th century by Muhammad, a merchant from Mecca.

Introduction to Islam

So-called Great Temple, Petra (Jordan) (photo: Dennis Jarvis, CC BY-SA 2.0)
These structures could only have been made in Petra, where Greek and eastern traditions were combined.

Petra: urban metropolis

So-called Monastery, or ed-Deir, Petra (Jordan) (photo: April Rinne, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)
More than tombs? Scholars once thought Petra was only a large necropolis, but archaeology shows it was much more.

Petra: rock-cut façades