The Damascene As with many ancient breeds, it is impossible to determine the definitive origin of the Damascene. Damascenes, or Mahomets, as they are often referred to in early written and oral accounts, are even mentioned on Egyptian papyrus rolls and stone carvings. Although it is commonly believed that the Damascene originated in Damascus, Syria (hence the name Damascene), there are indications that the breed might have been developed in either Turkey or Iran (Persia). Even back then in the 17th century, Willughby (1667) described the breed as being an old breed. He compares the large beautiful dark eye ceres of the Mahomets to the "large, dark eyes" of the people from Middle Eastern countries. The dark plum colored eye ceres and bright lively eyes are one of the two main features that make this breed so strikingly attractive.