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mriad Entry Definition (English)

Abbasid

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Abbasid is the second Islamic dynasty. This Arabic family was descended from Abbas, the uncle of the Prophet Muhammad. The Abbasids ruled in Egypt in AD 750-868 and AD 905-935.

ablution

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washing or cleansing of the body as part of a religious rite.

acroteria

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plural form of acroterium, which is a small pedestal, for statues or other ornaments, placed on the gables of a roof

Adelphon

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Greek word for "brothers"

adze

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a cutting tool with a thin arched blade at right angles to the handle and mainly used for shaping wood

aegis

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a shield or breastplate associated with divinity

affront

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to offend intentionally

Ahadith

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Plural of Hadith, the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad (The Traditions) which were made into Islamic law in the Middle Ages.

Akh

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The spirit of Re, the sun god, which encapsulates the concept of light - the transfigured spirit of a person that becomes one with light after death.

alabaster

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a variety of hard calcite that is translucent and sometimes banded.

alabastron

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The alabastron is an Egyptian vase in its origin. Its name is driven from the word alabaster, a hard compact calcite or aragonite, and produced in ceramic, glass, marble and faience. It was used in the Greek period to contain perfumes and had a role in the funerary ritual.

altar screen

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a thin wall used to separate the holy altar area from the rest of the church

alum

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Alum is a double sulfate of a trivalent metal such as iron and a univalent metal such as potassium or sodium. Alums are widely used in industry as clarifiers, hardeners, and purifiers and medicinally as topical astringents and styptics.

Amduat

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The Amduat, also called "Book of What is in the Underworld", is a corpus of funerary texts and vignettes. It describes the journey of the sun god through the 12 hours of the night, from its setting to its rising in the morning.

Amir

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Amir is an Arabic word that means "Prince or Commander". It was a term that was extensively used during the Mamluk period to refer to a commander of a unit of soldiers.

Amir al-Mumineen

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This means "Commander of the Believers" in Arabic. It is a title given to the Caliph. It is, also, the name of a canal in Egypt.

amphora

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a jar or vase with a large oval body, narrow cylindrical neck, and two handles

amulet

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a charm worn by the living or placed on a mummy to ward off evil spirits or bring good luck

ankh

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a hieroglyphic sign for life, similar to a cross but with a loop in place of the upper arm and usually worn as jewelry

anthropoid

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having the shape of a wrapped mummy or resembling a human being

anthropological

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Having to do with the scientific study of the origin, the behavior, and the physical, social, and cultural development of humans.

anthropomorphic

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having a human form or human attributes

apocryphal

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of questionable authorship or authenticity

appliqué

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a cutout decoration which adheres to a larger piece of material

aqueduct

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a structure for carrying a large quantity of flowing water from a distance via an artificial channel

aquiline

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curved like an eagle's beak

arabesque

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a complex, ornate design of intertwined floral, foliate, and geometric figures

arcade

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architectural element, composed of arches resting on a series of columns, which form part of a building or walkway

arcades

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architectural elements, composed of arches resting on a series of columns, which form part of a building or walkway

aryballos

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A squat perfume vessel with a rounded base and constricted neck.

askos

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a vessel with a round-holed handle behind the spout, usually filled with wine to offer to the gods

Atef Crown

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crown of the god Osiris; White Crown of Upper Egypt flanked by two plumes, or feathers

atelier

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artist's workshop

attenuate

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to make thin or lessen the amount of

Aubusson

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the name of a city in France that gave its name to a type of French tapestry

aureole

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circle of light surrounding the head or body; a halo

Ayyubid

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Islamic dynasty of Kurdish origin that ruled Egypt from AD 1171-1250

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