Caroline Stone

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Caroline Stone divides her time between Cambridge and Seville. Her latest book, Ibn Fadlan and the Land of Darkness, translated with Paul Lunde from the medieval Arab accounts of the lands in the Far North, was published in 2011 by Penguin Classics.

Articles by Caroline Stone

The Westward Journeys of Buttons

The Westward Journeys of Buttons

We all use them. Most fasten; some decorate. A search for origins points toward the Indus Valley and China. By the Middle Ages, buttons reached Europe along with other garment techniques and fashion influences from lands east. Their stories are as interwoven as the textiles they make possible and as varied as their infinite designs.
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The Great Migration of the Bani Hilal

The Great Migration of the Bani Hilal

In the 10th century, herders fled drought in Arabia, but the sultan of Egypt used them against his rivals. Their story went viral—oral-folklore style—as Sirat Bani Hilal, or the Romance of the People of the Crescent Moon.
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The Art of the Dowry Chest

The Art of the Dowry Chest

Wooden chests have been carved, painted, studded with metals and inlaid with colorful woods and mother-of-pearl for centuries, producing heirlooms from West Africa to the Middle East, India and Indonesia. Many of the most elaborate ones were produced to hold a woman’s dowry.
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