Ancient Egyptian Statue of Ptah, 1322 BC, found in the Tomb of Tutankhamen.
Hulagu Khan interns the last Abbasid Caliph, Al-Musta’sim, among his treasures to starve him to death. XV
Hulagu Khan, son of Tolui Khan and grandson of Genghis Khan, led Mongol forces into Mesopotamia in 1255 to destroy all remaining states still refusing to bow to Mongol power. After the peaceful surrender of the fortress of Alamut in northern Iran, Mongol forces moved south toward the center of Islamic power, learning and prestige, Baghdad, capital of the Abbasid Caliphate. The Abbasids, a dynasty that had remained in power since 750, was but a shadow of it’s former self, and the city soon came under a ravenous siege that directly led to the sacking and slaughter of well over half a million souls.
After the fall of Baghdad only a few Muslim powers could offer anything resembling true resistance, and only one, the Egyptian Mamluk Sultanate, was able to not just resist the Mongol horde, but at the Battle of Ain Jalut actually defeated them. The engagement at Ain Jalut became the first truly significant defeat sustained by the Mongols anywhere since their rise from the steppes of Mongolia.
The Sack of Baghdad not only signaled the end of the Islamic Golden Age, but so too became known as the single greatest catastrophe to ever befall Islam.
Statuette of Osiris sitting.
Late Period, circa 664 - 332 BCE
Bronze with gold incrustations
A masked protester throws a gas canister towards Egyptian riot police, not seen, near the interior ministry during clashes in downtown Cairo, Egypt, on November 20, 2011.
Photo by AP Photo/Tara Todras-Whitehill via In Focus