Parthian and Sassanian Architecture
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West Asian Architecture

Arch of Sapor
Arch of Sapor - Parthians

The Hellenistic kingdoms were then conquered, about 100 BC, by the Romans (in the West) and the Parthians (in the East). The Romans built many Roman-style buildings all over their part of West Asia. They built amphitheaters and temples and paved roads and aqueducts. The Parthians, because they had been nomads, did less building at first, but they also built roads and temples.

Dome of the Rock
Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem

Both the Romans and the Parthians ruled for a long time, but then around 650 AD the Arabs conquered both empires and reunited West Asia in the Islamic Empire. The Islamic caliphs built many beautiful mosques and palaces and other buildings. The Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem may be the most famous example. Islamic architecture soon dominated West Asia.

Test yourself - a quiz on West Asian architecture
Islamic architecture

Bibliography and further reading about West Asian architecture:

The Art and Architecture of the Ancient Orient, by Henri Frankfort (5th edition 1997). The standard for college art history classes.

Persepolis: The archaeology of Parsa, seat of the Persian kings, by Donald Newton Wilber (1969).

Islamic architecture
More about West Asia
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Karen Carr is Associate Professor Emerita, Department of History, Portland State University. She holds a doctorate in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. Follow her on Instagram or Twitter.
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