Human Interaction with the Environment in the Red Sea

Selected Papers of Red Sea Project VI

This volume contains a selection of fourteen papers presented at the Red Sea VI conference held at Tabuk University, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 2013. It sheds light on many aspects related to the environmental and biological perspectives, history, archaeology and human culture of the Red Sea, opening the door to more interdisciplinary research in the region. It stimulates a new discourse on different human adaptations to, and interactions with, the environment.

With contributions by Andre Antunes, K. Christopher Beard, Ahmed Hussein, Emad Khalil, Solène Marion de Procé, Abdirachid Mohamed, Ania Kotarba-Morley, Sandra Olsen, Andrew Peacock, Eleanor Scerri, Pierre Schneider, Marijke Van Der Veen and Chiara Zazzaro.

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Dionisius A. Agius, Ph.D. (1984), University of Toronto, is a Fellow of the British Academy, Professor of Arabic Studies and Islamic Material Culture at the University of Exeter and Distinguished Professor at the King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah. An ethno-linguist, he studies the life of the traditional watercraft, the people of the sea, their folklore and beliefs. Classic Ships of Islam: From Mesopotamia to the Indian Ocean (Brill, 2008) received an Honourable Mention from the Canadian Keith Matthews Prize and was Highly Commended by the British Keith Muckelroy Memorial Award.

Emad Khalil, Ph.D. (2005), University of Southampton, is Professor of Maritime Archaeology at the Alexandria University in Alexandria, Egypt. He is the founder of the Alexandria Centre for Maritime Archaeology & Underwater Cultural Heritage, and the former president of the ICOMOS – International Committee on Underwater Cultural Heritage (ICUCH).

Eleanor Scerri, Ph.D. (2013), University of Southampton, is a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow in Archaeology at the University of Oxford and a Junior Research Fellow at Jesus College, Oxford. She has published peer-reviewed articles on and conducts extensive fieldwork in the Saharo-Arabian belt, focusing on the archaeology of human evolution. She is the director of the Senegal Prehistory Project.

Alun Williams, Ph.D. (1985), SOAS, London, lectures in medieval history at the University of Exeter. Until 2006 he had a long career as teacher and head teacher in English schools. He has been assistant editor of Al-Masãq – the Journal of the Medieval Mediterranean since 2007. His research focuses on twelfth- and thirteenth-century Iberia, medieval biblical culture and imagery in conflict narratives.
Contributors’ profiles

Dionisius A. Agius, Emad Khalil, Alun Williams and Eleanor Scerri

Part One: Environmental perspectives of the Red Sea

1. ‘On the Red Sea the trees are of a remarkable nature’ (Pliny the Elder): The Red Sea
mangroves from the Greco-Roman perspective
Pierre Schneider

2. Extreme Red Sea: Life in the Deep-Sea Anoxic Brine Lakes
André Antunes

3. Biogeographic Provincialism shown by Afro-Arabian Mammals during the Middle
Cenozoic: Climate Change, Red Sea Rifting and Global Eustasy
K. Christopher Beard, Pauline M.C. Coster, Mustafa J. Salem, Yaowalak Chaimanee and Jean-Jacques Jaeger

4. Bridges and barriers: The Late Pleistocene demography of the Saharo-Arabian Belt.
Eleanor M.L. Scerri
5. Weighing the Evidence for Ancient Afro-Arabian Cultural Connections
through Neolithic Rock Art
Sandra L. Olsen

PART TWO: From harbours to historical towns

7. Adulis and the sea
Chiara Zazzaro

8. The Maritime context of Mediterranean – Red Sea – Indian Ocean trade Roman era
vessels of the Red Sea – critical review and new data
Anna M. Kotarba-Morley

9. The historic towns of Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea Coast: Tourism Development and
Aylin Orbaşlı

10. The Geographical Nature of the Red Sea Area and its Impact on the Material culture:
Case Study: Aqiq port
Ahmed Hussein Abdelrahman Adam

11. Food Globalisation and the Red Sea: new evidence from the ancient ports at Quseir
al-Qadim, Egypt
Marijke van der Veen and Jacob Moralesa

12 Jeddah and the India Trade in the sixteenth century: Arabian contexts and imperial
Andrew C.S. Peacock

13 Ancient Cultural Contact between the Somali Coast and the Arabian Peninsula seen
through a folktale
Abdirachid Mohamed Abdirachid

14 The Potentials of Maritime Archaeology in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Emad Khalil

All interested in the human dimension of the environments of the Red Sea, its history and its past and present ecology.
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