The Arab conquests of the seventh and early eighth centuries had a profound impact on the history of Eurasia. While debate will continue over the dates of specific battles and the capitulations of given towns and cities, there is broad agreement over the fundamental chronology leading to the establishment of a massive new empire stretching from the Atlantic coast to the border with Tang dynasty China. Scholars have long recognized the potential of archaeology to contribute to the questions surrounding the demographic, economic and cultural shifts that occurred during this crucial period. Attempts to exploit the material record have often stumbled, however, due to the widespread tendency to privilege textual claims over archaeological data, the existence of considerable lacunae in the record of excavations...

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