Considered one of the greatest achievements of early Islamic architects, craftsmen and artists, the magnificent interior of the Qubbat al-Sakhra (Dome of the Rock) was built between 688 and 691 ce on Jerusalem’s Haram al-Sharif by order of Umayyad Caliph Abd al-Malik. Its intricate patterns reflect Hellenic, Roman, Byzantine and Sassanid influences, together with bands and medallions of Arabic calligraphy.

To create this unique symmetrical image of the hemispheric ceiling dome, photo restorer and artist Kelvin Bown painstakingly stitched together nine digital scans made from stereoscopic negatives originally taken between 1898 and 1920 by photographers commissioned by the American Colony of Jerusalem.

Produced as a limited edition print, this is one of many historical images of the Middle East that Bown has restored using modern techniques. The results bring renewed clarity, depth, detail and presence to early photographs, illuminating aspects of past ways of life that express the beauty, harmony, diversity and sustainability of the region.

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