In the sixth and early seventh centuries, Iran continues to be integral to the Sasanian empire. Sasanian power, however, comes to an end with the introduction of Islam in the seventh century by Arab conquerors. Iran becomes a province of the great Umayyad and Abbasid Islamic empires. While Sasanian traditions are felt in the early Islamic period, artistic impulses from capital cities further west (Damascus, Baghdad, and Samarra) become important. Along with the rise of local dynasties in the ninth century, these influences help establish a rich and diverse artistic expression that is distinctly Islamic and Iranian.