Red sea re­veals Ro­man and Is­lamic ship­wrecks

Timeless Travels Magazine - - ARCHAEOLOG­ICAL NEWS -

oint team of er­man and audi ar­chae­ol­o­gists has been sys­tem­at­i­cally map­ping and doc­u­ment­ing a num­ber of ar­chae­o­log­i­cal and his­tor­i­cally rel­e­vant sites in the area be­tween Rabigh and l huaibah to the north and south of ed­dah.

Th­ese sites in­clude ship­wrecks, har­bours and an­chor­ages as well as set­tle­ments con­nected with sea­far­ing. The aim of the pro ect is the re­con­struc­tion of mar­itime trad­ing and trans­port routes in the Red ea on the ba­sis of ar­chae­o­log­i­cal ev­i­dence to be com­bined with lit­er­ary and epi­graphic sources.

The east coast of the Red ea is ar­chae­o­log­i­cally largely une plored but re­cent find­ings in­di­cate that this area of the Saudi Ara­bian coast was fre­quented by ships from the editer­ranean in anti uity. Re­mains of the cargo of two ancient ship­wrecks on a reef near the port en­trance of Sharm Ab­hur in the north of Jeddah are a promis­ing start­ing point for the ex­plo­ration of the com­mer­cial and mar­itime his­tory of the audi ra­bian coast.

vi­dence in­di­cates that one of the wrecks has am­phorae that be­long to the cargo of a late Ro­man ship­wreck from the es­tern editer­ranean. Frag­ments of 20 am­phorae of the 3rd/4th cen­tury AD sug­gest that the ship, in ad­di­tion to other per­ish­able goods, trans­ported a cargo of oil from south­ern pain. The sec­ond wreck site shows ev­i­dence for a trade of agri­cul­tural prod­ucts which took place be­tween the 5th and the 7th cen­tury AD and is one of the few in­di­ca­tions for a sea route from Aqaba to a port along the coast of the Ara­bian Penin­sula or even a des­ti­na­tion in the In­dian cean.

er­man ar­chae­ol­o­gist ichaela Re­in­feld said many un­der­wa­ter re­mains are wait­ing to be dis­cov­ered. he said it was part of her team’s ob in the in­g­dom to train au­dis in the field of un­der­wa­ter ar­chae­ol­ogy.

Un­der­wa­ter ex­ca­va­tions in the Red Sea

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