Contribution to Islam 361 styles set by them, and in general most subsequent modifications or developments of these styles, likewise largely introduced by foreign artists, which have remained as models for succeeding generations of Egyptian craftsmen, are essentially non-Egyptian. Thus, it is certain that the architectural principles underlying the construction of the mosque were evolved in Iraq and Syria; that the art of calligraphy, and the related use of script in decorative ornament of stone, textile, or metal, spring from, foreign originsj and that the designs of ceramics and other utensils have for the most part been introduced from Iraq, Persia, and even China. To isolate, then, the peculiarly Egyptian contribution to the sum of Islamic art is a task of the greatest complexity. The words of C. H. Becker, written some twenty- five years ago, that cthe really scientific study of Egyptian archi- tecture and decorative art is still in its infancy, it has not even been satisfactorily explained what is peculiarly Egyptian in it*1 do not stand in any great need of modification to-day. Additional difficulties arise from the fact that, for a prolonged period of her Muslim history, Egypt was combined with Syria as an administrative province. Moreover, craftsmen were freely imported—if that is not too mild a term to cover what was at times forcible removal—from one part of the Muslim world to another, and non-Muslims were frequently employed by Muslim rulers. In Egypt especially, Coptic craftsmen were of immense utility to their Arab conquerors, and their noted skill, above all in ceramics and textiles, of which abundant evidence is provided by the material remains of the Coptic period, made a quite unique impression on the development of Muslim art. For detailed information on the characteristics of each indi- vidual branch of art, reference must be made to the abundant specialist literature of each subject: here the treatment will per- force be cursory and superficial. It should also be remembered that the whole science bristles with controversy and partisanship, 1 EJ. ii, p. 23.