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Following the Muslim Arab invasions of the 630s, the population of Palestine underwent a slow but profound demographic transformation that was expressed in the realms of language, religion and other facets of culture, as well as in economics and settlement patterns. This demographic development was accompanied by the changing built landscape: cities and towns dominated by mosques, minarets, madrasas (colleges) and other Muslim institutions; and, a countryside dotted by Muslim shrines and other buildings. The landscape can be said to have been Islamized, reflecting and influencing demographic and cultural cultural developments in changes. The primary aim of our project is to investigate some of the salient demographic and the history of Palestine and create a richer picture of the society that developed here under the aegis of a succession of Muslim states.
The program is based at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and includes researchers from the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and the Israel Antiquities Authority.