Author(s) / Creator(s)

Ehsan Abushadi


Arab & Islamic Civilizations Department

Description or Abstract

This paper discusses the development of, and influences on, the form of arches in the Islamic period up until the year 1250; using examples from across the empire while charting the development from area to area through time. It starts with the semicircular arch and how that developed into the pointed arch with its varieties. The paper also explores how the shouldered arch developed, leading to the tri-lobed and keel arch. On the other hand, there is no clear development path for the horse shoe arch which suggests that it may have developed in various parts of the world at different time periods without being influences to each other. The two main origin arches, the semicircular and the shouldered may be attributed to the structural pointed and rectangular curves, respectively, of load distribution that leads to these two forms with their evolution.


Arches, Islamic arches, Islamic architecture, 650 - 1250 AD, Pointed arch, Shouldered arch, Horseshoe arch

Faculty Advisor

O'Kane, Bernard


ARIC 270

Content Type



17 p.