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Taymāʾ I: Archaeological Exploration, Palaeoenvironment, Cultural Contacts edited by Arnulf Hausleiter, Ricardo Eichmann, Muhammad al-Najem. Hardback; 210x297mm; xii+268 pages; illustrated throughout in colour and black & white (66 plates in colour). 499 2018 Taymāʾ: Multidisciplinary Series on the Results of the Saudi-German Archaeological Project 1. Available both in print and Open Access. Printed ISBN 9781789690439. £55.00 (No VAT). Epublication ISBN 9781789690446. Book contents pageDownload

Archaeological investigations in the north-western part of the Arabian Peninsula has increased during the last 15 years. One of the major sites in the region is the ancient oasis of Taymāʾ, known as a commercial hub on the so-called Incense Road connecting South Arabia with the Eastern Mediterranean. In the context of this new research a multidisciplinary project by the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) and the Orient Department of the German Archaeological Institute (DAI) has been investigating the archaeology and ancient environment of Taymāʾ since 2004. A major aim of this project was the development of new perspectives of the site and the region, characterised by elaborating the local socio-cultural and economic contexts. So far, Taymāʾ has been known mainly through exogenous sources.

The present volume is the first of the publication series of the Saudi-German archaeological project and focuses on three fundamental aspects of research at Taymāʾ: the current archaeological exploration of the oasis is contextualised with previous and ongoing research within the region, while at the same time offering a first overview of the settlement history of the site, which may have started as early as more than 6000 years ago. New information on the palaeoenvironment has been provided by multiproxy- analysis of sediments from a palaeolake immediately north of the settlement. The results indicate an Early Holocene humid period in the region that is shorter than the so-called African Humid Period. The abrupt aridification at around 8 ka BP, known from other regions in the Near East, is also attested in north-western Arabia. The reconstruction of the past vegetation of the site and its surroundings demonstrates that oasis cultivation at Taymāʾ started during the 5th millennium BCE with grapes and figs, rather than with the date palm. According to hydrological investigations on water resources, groundwater aquifers provided the main source of local water supply. These were exploited through wells, some of which have been identified in the area of the ancient oasis. Finally, since the time of early travellers to Northwest Arabia evidence of cultural contacts has been observed in the records from the site, which had been occupied by the last Babylonian king, Nabonidus (556–539 BCE) for ten years. A historical-archaeological essay on Egypt and Arabia as well as a study on the ambiguous relationship between Assyria and Arabia – characterised by conflict and commerce – shed new light on the foreign relations of ancient Taymāʾ.

About the Editors
ARNULF HAUSLEITER is researcher at the DAI’s Orient Department for the Taymāʾ project, funded by the German Research foundation (DFG). He has been field director of the excavations at Taymāʾ since 2004 and has co-directed the project with Ricardo Eichmann.

RICARDO EICHMANN is director of the Orient Department at the German Archaeological Institute in Berlin. He is the head of the German component of the Taymāʾ project and has co-directed it with Arnulf Hausleiter.

MUHAMMAD AL-NAJEM is head of the Antiquities Office of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) and director of the Museum of Archaeology and Ethnography at Taymāʾ, Province of Tabuk, Saudi Arabia.
Early Maritime Cultures in East Africa and the Western Indian Ocean Papers from a conference held at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (African Studies Program) 23-24 October 2015, with additional contributions by Akshay Sarathi. Paperback; 203x276mm; viii+228 pages; illustrated throughout in colour and black & white (60 plates in colour). 66 2018. Available both in print and Open Access. Printed ISBN 9781784917128. £48.00 (No VAT). Epublication ISBN 9781784917135. Book contents pageDownload

The East African coast and the Western Indian Ocean are regions of global historical significance. This volume contains papers first presented at the conference, Early Maritime Cultures of the East African Coast, held at the University of Wisconsin-Madison on October 23-24, 2015. Rather than limiting publication to the proceedings of the conference, additional contributions were solicited to expand the scope of the research presented and to place East Africa in its broader geographic and cultural contexts. The resulting volume focuses broadly on East Africa and the Western Indian Ocean and unites the papers under the general themes of movement and connection.

These papers represent a multi-disciplinary effort to examine East Africa and the Western Indian Ocean. Multiple lines of evidence drawn from linguistics, archaeology, history, art history, and ethnography come together in novel ways to highlight different aspects of the region’s past and offer innovative avenues for future research. The papers cover a diverse array of topics, including but not limited to: subsistence, watercraft traditions, trade and exchange (especially concerning the Silk Routes), migration, food ways, and familial relationships. This volume is unique in that it includes some speculative research as well, intended to present novel methods to deal with data-poor topics and to start important conversations about understudied topics.

The goal of this volume is to showcase aspects of the complex cultures and histories of this vast region and to emphasize its importance to world history. Ideally, it will generate scholarly and popular interest in the histories and cultures of the region and bring to the fore Africa’s and the Western Indian Ocean’s important (yet often overlooked) role in world historical narratives. It may also serve as a more advanced introduction to East Africa’s and the Western Indian Ocean’s history of interaction with other regions of the Old World and as a survey of methods used to understand the region’s past.

About the Editor
AKSHAY SARATHI is a graduate student of Archaeology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research interests include the zooarchaeology of maritime adaptations, Indian Ocean trade and exchange, and East African coastal archaeology. More specifically, his current research project focuses on the island of Zanzibar, where he has excavated the sites of Unguja Ukuu, Kizimkazi Dimbani, and Kuumbi Cave. Data from these sites will form the basis of his dissertation, which will examine how dietary preferences changed over time at each site in response to various stimuli over time. He currently resides in Madison, WI (USA) with his two feline overlords.
Middle to Late Neolithic animal exploitation at UAQ2 (5500–4000 cal BC): an Ubaid-related coastal site at Umm al-Quwain Emirate, United Arab Emirates Taken from Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies 46 (2016) by Marjan Mashkour, Mark Jonathan Beech, Karyne Debue, Lisa Yeomans, Stéphanie Bréhard, Dalia Gasparini & Sophie Méry. Pages 195-210.Download

The subsistence strategies of coastal Neolithic groups in eastern Arabia, reliant upon the exploitation of marine and terrestrial animal resources, are not yet fully understood. A central question in relevant literature is the issue of mobility. This is the reason for excavations in Umm al-Quwain (UAQ2), UAE, from 2011 by the French Archaeological Mission. UAQ2 is a site with obvious potential, occupied for 1500 years from the mid-sixth millennium BC. It has an area of approximately 6 ha with 3.2 m or more of imposing and unusual stratigraphy. A large quantity of faunal remains, including terrestrial and marine vertebrates, was recovered from UAQ2. The terrestrial mammals are composed mainly of domestic herbivores including caprines, cattle, and dogs. The most striking feature is the number of newly born and young animals among the small herbivores, a clear indication of occupation during late winter/spring. As for the fish bones, the following taxa were identified: requiem sharks, shark-suckers, marine catfish, needlefish, jacks/trevallies, milkfish, mojarra, emperors, snappers, mullet, flatheads, shortfin flounders, parrotfish, kawakawa, tuna, groupers, sea bream, barracuda, puffer, and tripod fish. These indicate that most fishing was carried out in the shallow lagoon area, but some fishing for tuna may have been carried out in the open seas beyond the local lagoon. Besides fish were also the remains of cuttlefish and swimming crabs. This assemblage provides new information on the mixed exploitation of inland and marine resources during the sixth to fifth millennium BC. The integrated study of the faunal remains contributes to the proposal of a possible year round residency, not excluding coastal mobility. The full volume is available in paperback here.
Ubaid-related sites of the southern Gulf revisited: the Abu Dhabi Coastal Heritage Initiative Taken from Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies 46 (2016) by Mark Jonathan Beech, Kristian Strutt, Lucy Blue, Abdulla Khalfan al-Kaabi, Waleed Awad Omar, Ahmed Abdulla al-Haj El-Faki, Anjana Reddy Lingareddy & John Martin. Pages 9-23.Download

The Coastal Heritage Initiative of the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) aims to investigate the rich maritime history of Abu Dhabi Emirate. Since the establishment of TCA Abu Dhabi in February 2012, a new phase of archaeological research has been carried out. Systematic mapping of sites, their integration into the Abu Dhabi geographic information system (GIS geodatabase of archaeological sites for the Emirate), as well as further investigations of key sites by both geophysical prospection and excavation have been undertaken. Recent work has concentrated on the Ubaid-related coastal sites on both Dalma Island (Jazīrat Dalmā) and Marawah Island (Jazīrat MarawaΉ). A combination of both magnetometry and ground-penetrating radar (GPR) geophysical surveys, as well as follow-up excavations are discussed. These shed new light on the structure of Ubaid-related coastal settlements between the mid-sixth and early fifth millennium BC. The full volume is available in paperback here.
Early Iron Age metal circulation in the Arabian Peninsula: the oasis of Tayma as part of a dynamic network (poster) Taken from Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies 46 (2016) by Martina Renzi, Andrea Intilia, Arnulf Hausleiter & Thilo Rehren. Pages 237-246.Download

The oasis of Tayma, located in north-western Arabia, between the Hijaz mountains and the great Nafud desert, was strategically situated on one of the branches of the main trade routes that connected southern Arabia and the Mediterranean Sea during the first millennium BC. During archaeological excavations at this site — a project carried out by a Saudi Arabian-German team — an architectural complex of public character dated to the Early Iron Age (eleventh–ninth centuries BC) was investigated in Area O, in the southwestern section of the ancient settlement. Among other finds, a significant concentration of luxury goods (i.e. objects made of ivory, wood, bone, and faïence) was discovered there, together with a few iron and several copper-based artefacts. Of this assemblage, fifty-eight copper-based objects have been analysed by portable X-ray fluorescence (pXRF), while sixteen have undergone trace element and lead isotope analyses. The objects chosen to be analysed included everyday items, such as rivets and fragments of rods, three small metal lumps, and a bracelet. The data on their elemental composition and lead isotope signatures combined to indicate that different metal sources were used, suggesting the existence of a highly dynamic metal trade in the wider region during the Early Iron Age. The full volume is available in paperback here.
Iron Age metallurgy at Salūt (Sultanate of Oman): a preliminary note (poster) Taken from Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies 46 (2016) by Michele Degli Esposti, Martina Renzi & Thilo Rehren. Pages 81-88.Download

Extensive excavations at the Iron Age site of Salūt, near Bisyā in central Oman, revealed a complex architecture, allowing the reconstruction of a long history of building activities and rearrangements. Among the discovered structures, none can clearly be associated to metal production, although a small vertical furnace could be tentatively interpreted as a metallurgical structure, possibly used for small-scale copper/bronze remelting. The presence of charcoalrich deposits, metal scraps, and stored broken objects in its vicinity also points in this direction. A selection of these items, together with some plano-convex ingots from other contexts within the site, has been analysed and the preliminary results are outlined here. The significance of this work is underlined by the current dearth of data on Iron Age metallurgy in the Oman peninsula, compared to comprehensive studies of Bronze Age metal production, when the land of Magan was widely renowned for its wealth of copper ores. Click on the PDF to read the full paper online, or download to your device. The full volume is available in paperback here.
The Crowded Desert: a multi-phase archaeological survey in the north-west of Qatar Taken from Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies 46 (2016) by Jose C. Carvajal Lopez, Laura Morabito, Robert Carter, Richard Fletcher & Faisal Abdullah al-Naimi. Pages 45-62.ISBN 9781784913632. Download

This paper introduces the conception, development, and results of the first campaign of the Crowded Desert Project, an archaeological survey of the area of Mulayhah (aka Mleiha), Umm al-Ma in north-west Qatar. The project aims to develop basic research on desert settlement and on processes of nomadism and sedentarization over a long timescale in Qatar. The first season has focused on two areas, the most important of which is the Mulayhah Depression, a geological silt trap with a well, around which there is documented occupation ranging from the Hellenistic period up to the present day. As expected, the seasonal flooding of the depression can offer potential stratigraphic sequences that can be combined with other methods of dating to establish a basic sequence of occupation of the area. In the survey more than 600 features were mapped, including campsites, Islamic and pre-Islamic cemeteries, and mosques of different sizes. This is the first multi-phasic intensive survey of the area in which an attempt to offer a long-term interpretation of settlement patterns has been undertaken. Click on the PDF to read the full paper online, or download to your device. The full volume is available in paperback here.
Found: the Palaeolithic of Qatar Taken from Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies 45 (2015) by Julie E. Scott-Jackson, Jeffrey I. Rose, William Scott-Jackson & Faisal al-Naimi. Pages 329–336; colour and black & white illustrations. PSAS. Download

The seeming lack of evidence for a Palaeolithic presence in Qatar has been enigmatic. This has now changed. Here we report on discoveries made by the PADMAC Unit during 2013/2014 and the far-reaching implications of these findings. Our preliminary analysis of the Qatar lithic assemblages — QSS25, QSS29 (PADMAC Unit collection) and A-group Site I and A-group Site III (Kapel collection) — revealed the presence of large chopping tools and crude ‘Abbevillian’ cores, both indicative of an early stage within the lower Palaeolithic period, while the absence of classic Acheulean hand axes might even suggest a date exceeding one million years. Furthermore, the particular suite of technological traits we identified in Umm Taqa ‘B-group’ Site XXXIV (Kapel collection) lithic assemblage, are characteristic of middle–upper Palaeolithic transitional industries found in the Levant, Nile Valley, and southern Arabia. Hence, we tentatively assign the ‘Taqan’ industry to the upper Palaeolithic. Specific lithics from the QSS32 (PADMAC Unit collection) assemblage, allude to further ‘Taqan’ sites in southern Qatar.
Generosity, gift giving, and gift avoiding in southern Oman Taken from Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies 45 (2015) by Marielle Risse. Pages 289–296. PSAS. Download

Gibali (Jibbali/Shahri) is a Modern South Arabian language spoken in the coastal plain and mountains of the Dhofar region of southern Oman. Although there are researchers actively documenting Gibali, there has been little anthropological work on the speakers of this non-written language. Building on nine years of research about, and interactions with, Gibali speakers the author describes the concept of the gift in the Arab, Muslim, tribal culture of Gibali speakers. This article tries to form an appreciation of Gibalis by explaining their understanding of the definition of gifts as well as gift giving, receiving, reciprocating, and avoiding. From the field of gift theory, the author draws on Mauss, Godelier, Bourdieu, Appadurai, and Godbout and Caillé, to create a framework for the ‘what’, ‘when’, ‘why’, and ‘how’ of gifts. From the fields of travel writing and history, examples from Wilfred Thesiger and the memoirs of soldiers from the Dhofar War (1965–1975) are used to provide a historical perspective. The result is an insight into a culture in which gifts are, for the most part, not necessary as there are many limits placed on who can give/receive, the time to give/receive, and the kind of object that is considered a gift.
Investigating the orientation of Hafit tomb entrances in Wādī Andām, Oman This paper is taken from Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies 44 (2014) by William M. Deadman. 139-152.Download

This paper presents the results and analysis of a small research project exploring the orientation of Hafit tomb entrances in Wadi Andam, Oman. Measurements were taken at three sites along the course of the wadi: Fulayj in the northern mountains, Khashbah in the foothills, and ΚUyun on the plains to the south. The clear similarity between the collective tomb entrance orientation data and the annual variation in the position of the sunrise suggests that the path of the sun was of great significance to the Hafit population of Wadi Andam, and that it was recorded in their tomb architecture. Variation in the tomb entrance data between the three sites suggests that the population was nomadic and moved between areas of Wadi Andam according to season. These results are discussed in the context of the distribution of Hafit tombs and the terrain of Wadi Andam in order to explore how, where, and when this seasonal migration could have occurred. Ethnographic studies of the modern nomadic pastoralists of Oman and the UAE are examined to provide potential parallels and to obtain a better understanding of the driving force behind the Hafit seasonal nomadism. The tomb entrance orientation measurements from Wadi Andam are also presented alongside the available published data, revealing a possible east/west regional divide in the Hafit funerary architecture of the northern Oman peninsula. The results of this research suggest that the Hafit population of Wadi Andam was nomadic, and migrated from the southern plains in the summer to the mountains and foothills when the rains came in the winter, moving through the terrain along the major watercourses and building tombs on nearby elevated areas as they were needed, with entrances pointing towards the sunrise.

This paper is taken from Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies 44 edited by Robert Hoyland & Sarah Morriss, Archaeopress 2014. Click on the PDF to read the full paper online, or download to your device. The full volume is available in paperback here.
Towards a Hadramitic lexicon: lexical notes on terms relating to the formulary and rituals in expiatory inscriptions This paper is taken from Languages of Southern Arabia: Supplement to the Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies Volume 44 (2014) by Alessia Prioletta. 101-110.Download

Although the corpus of Hadramitic inscriptions is highly fragmented both chronologically and geographically, its grammatical system and above all its lexicon display unique traits that make it of particular interest to scholars. These traits are especially well defined in the textual genre of the expiatory inscriptions since they display a distinctive formulary and ritual lexicon compared to the textual counterparts in the other South Arabian kingdoms. The study focuses, in particular, on the lexical analysis of some key terms that appear in the fixed formulas within which these inscriptions are structured. The lexicon of these texts is characterized by many unique features compared to the other ASA languages and, on a broader level, combines isoglosses with the Southern Semitic languages, archaisms that recall Akkadian, and a more typically Central Semitic lexicon. These elements still await full analysis and systematic organization into a comparative Hadramitic lexicon that will allow scholars to pursue broader studies on the position of Hadramitic within the Ancient South Arabian and Semitic in general.

This paper is taken from Languages of Southern Arabia: Supplement to the Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies Volume 44 edited by Orhan Elmaz and Janet C.E. Watson, Archaeopress 2014. Click on the PDF to read the full paper online, or download to your device. The full volume is available in paperback here.
Sailing the Red Sea: ships, infrastructure, seafarers and society Chapter 5.1 from Ships, Saints and Sealore: Cultural Heritage and Ethnography of the Mediterranean and the Red Sea by Cheryl Ward. 115-123.Download

Sailing along the coast reinforces the benefits of long-established Indian Ocean monsoon and trade patterns that extended into the Red Sea. Vastly profitable and culturally significant expeditions and fleets channelled people and exotic animals from giraffes to elephants, Chinese porcelains, coffee, incense, textiles and other goods into a durable, if episodic, infrastructure of coastal sites in a pattern that endured for thousands of years. The acquisition and influx of exotic materials established economic and social interactions illuminated by recent archaeological exploration of anchorages, harbours, shipwrecks and other installations. New data from Red Sea sites offer a basis for examining the development of extensive maritime systems from the middle of the third millennium BCE through the early modern era.

This paper is taken from Ships, Saints and Sealore: Cultural Heritage and Ethnography of the Mediterranean and the Red Sea edited by Dionisius A. Agius, Timmy Gambin and Athena Trakadas with contributions by Harriet Nash, Archaeopress 2014. Click on the PDF to read the full paper online, or download to your device. The full volume is available in paperback here.
A note on the development of Cypriot Late Roman D forms 2 and 9 Taken from LRFW 1. Late Roman Fine Wares. Solving problems of typology and chronology. A review of the evidence, debate and new contexts by Paul Reynolds. 57-65.Download

The development and evolution of LRD 2 into LRD 9 through the 5th to 7th centuries is traced and illustrated through a revision of the evidence presented in Late Roman Pottery (Hayes 1972) and finds from new contexts excavated in Beirut.

This paper is taken from LRFW 1. Late Roman Fine Wares. Solving problems of typology and chronology. A review of the evidence, debate and new contexts edited by Miguel Ángel Cau, Paul Reynolds and Michel Bonifay, Archaeopress 2012. Click on the PDF to read the full paper online, or download to your device. The full volume is available in paperback here.
Asia and the Middle East Chapter 21 from World Archaeology at the Pitt Rivers Museum by Dan Hicks. 455-470.Download

The Pitt Rivers Museum (PRM) holds c. 14,624 objects from Asia that are currently defined as ‘archaeological’ (Table 1.6). The largest collections within this Asian material are represented by the c. 5,449 artefacts from India, the c. 3,524 artefacts from Israel, the c. 1,602 artefacts from Sri Lanka, the c. 1,099 artefacts from Jordan, the c. 510 artefacts from Japan, and the c. 363 artefacts from the Occupied Palestinian Territories. These collections are explored over the next five chapters (Chapters 22–26), and are introduced in this chapter. Click on the PDF to read the full paper online, or download to your device. The full volume is available in paperback here.
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