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. She is currently an Assistant Professor at The Graduate Center, The City University of New York and the Deputy Executive Officer of the M.A. in Liberal Studies.





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




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