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From the Editors

Medieval multiculturalism, the children of Palestine in the seventh century, and the effects of Greece’s much-analyzed economic crisis on its spectacular archaeological sites are the very diverse topics covered in this issue of JEMAHS.

Michael Walsh’s article on the fascinating The Forty Martyrs of Sebaste mural in the Church of Saints Peter and Paul at Famagusta, discusses the ways in which the style and subject of this artwork reflects the fifteenth-century population of “people of mixed fortunes, histories, desires, options, and destinies” who inhabited this Cypriot port city.

Reconstructing early Islamic childhood is the goal of Itamar Taxel, Mark Iserlis, and Eli Yannai in examining and comparing two ceramic rattles, rare finds, discovered at Mishmar David in Israel. These poignant testaments to the lives of young children during this pivotal time in the history of the region are examined by the authors in the context of an emerging discipline of the archaeology of childhood in the Middle East.

The Forum section of this issue is dedicated to examining and debating the ineluctable influence of politics and financial instability on the rich Hellenic heritage so closely associated with that of the West in general. The discussion branches out to explore how continued looting, willful destruction, irresponsible collectors, and well-meaning but ineffectual governments have exacerbated what is becoming an increasing concern about the state of sites, museums, and artifacts—those in both public and private hands.

This issue concludes with reviews by Tali Erickson-Gini and Jody Michael Gordon of recent works on the ever-enthralling subject of Nabataean Petra and on the lesser known site of Polis Chrysochous, which, according to Gordon, expresses “a uniquely Cypriot identity informed by a broader cultural milieu.”

We hope that you will find much to interest you in this issue of the journal. [End Page iv]