City dwellers, farmers and nomads, Arabs, Kurds, Armenians, Turks, Muslims, Christians and Jews - all have made their contributions to the colorful mosaic of Syria's craft traditions. Textiles and silver jewelry produced in the towns are complemented by peasant handicrafts: bold ceramics and mats woven from white straw with spirited designs. Dresses with profuse embroidery or geometric patterns display the origins of the women who wear them. Syrian nomads make brilliant carpets with which to decorate their tents and their camels. At the time of the Crusades, Damascene cloth and metalwork, and glassware from Aleppo, were much sought after in the courts of Christian princes. Even at the end of the nineteenth century, Syrian handicrafts were still regarded as luxury items in Europe. Now the whole span of this enduring culture is comprehensively treated, with explanatory text and over 600 illustrations, in a fascinating overview of Syria's material legacy.Kalter, Johannes is the author of 'Arts and Crafts of Syria/Collection Antoine Touma and Linden-Museum Stuttgart' with ISBN 9780500974018 and ISBN 0500974012.