This project aims to address, for the first time, the dynamics of material culture and related cultural behaviour of interactions along the frontiers of the Byzantine and Islamic Empires (c. 629 – 1050 AD). The importance of this project rests on its ability to counter-act traditional perspective of the frontier as ‘wilderness’, ‘empty space’, or arenas for civilizational struggle: Christian vs Islamic, West vs East. Those who populated such areas are traditionally seen as passive spectators to titanic, ideological struggles subsumed and abstracted in rhetoric. The frontier has proven fertile ground for polemical and ideological topoi, invoked by contemporary and modern writers alike. Dispelling these ahistoric notions therefore has academic and modern relevance. The people at the cutting edge of even the seemingly-mechanistic institutions of the Byzantine and Islamic empires were just that–people, engaged in a range of relationships with others. Attempting to capture some of their specific stories is a necessary counter-weight to the traditional grand narratives of imperialism that haunt modernity still.