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FORTHCOMING: Dosariyah: An Arabian Neolithic Coastal Community in the Central Gulf by Philipp Drechsler. Paperback; 205x290mm; xii+498 pages; illustrated throughout in colour and black & white (110 plates in colour). (Print RRP £80.00).. 454 2018 British Foundation for the Study of Arabia Monographs (formerly Society for Arabian Studies Monographs) 19. ISBN 9781784919627. Book contents pageBuy Now

Dosariyah: Reinvestigating a Neolithic coastal community in eastern Arabia describes the work carried out at Dosariyah, located in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia, which took place between 2010 and 2014. It was conducted by the joint German-Saudi Dosariyah Archaeological Research Project (DARP). A wealth of material remains was found during excavations within almost three metres of anthropogenic deposits. Radiocarbon dates and comparative studies of artefacts securely date the occupation of the site into the first centuries of the fifth millennium BC.

The co-occurrence of locally produced artefacts that are technologically and typologically rooted in the local Arabian Middle Neolithic, and imports from southern Mesopotamia is characteristic of Dosariyah. However, the mechanisms behind this distribution of foreign materials along the Arabian Gulf coast, in particular, are still poorly understood. It is the central proposition of this book that the local societies living along the shores of the Arabian Gulf coast played an active role in the acquisition of Ubaid pottery and other objects originating in southern Mesopotamia.

A predominance of imported objects, considered as ‘exotic items’, are understood as integral components of rituals that were part of temporary gatherings of larger groups of people at Dosariyah. Based on the material evidence from the site, such collective social events were embedded in everyday life during the fifth millennium BC.

About the Author
Philipp Drechsler is a research fellow at the University of Tübingen, Germany, where he received his PhD in 2008. Trained in prehistoric archaeology, geology and geography, he has a particular interest in the emergence and the development of food producing – Neolithic – societies on the Arabian Peninsula. His fields of expertise include lithic studies, the analysis of spatial patterns of human behaviour and human action against the background of changing environmental conditions. He is head of the joint German-Saudi Dosariyah Archaeological Research Project (DARP), and has also been invited to participate in research projects in Qatar, V.A.E and Syria.
Archaeological rescue excavations on Packages 3 and 4 of the Batinah Expressway, Sultanate of Oman by Ben Saunders. viii+212 pages; highly illustrated throughout in colour and black & white. 248 2016 British Foundation for the Study of Arabia Monographs (formerly Society for Arabian Studies Monographs) . Available both in printed and e-versions. Printed ISBN 9781784913953. £45.00 (No VAT). Epublication ISBN 9781784913960. £15.83 (Exc. VAT) Institutional Price £45.00 (Exc. UK VAT) Book contents pageBuy Now

The archaeological excavations along the route of packages 3 and 4 of the Batinah Expressway, Sultanate of Oman, conducted during the spring and summer of 2014, recorded over 60 archaeological sites over the 200km stretch of roadway cutting through the Batinah plain, north-west of Muscat. The majority of these sites were prehistoric tombs of varying ages. These excavations have allowed a re-thinking of the dating of some of these tombs, looking particularly at the structural styles of the tombs as well as their location in the landscape. It has also demonstrated techniques of rapid yet reliable excavation and recording techniques adapted from UK commercial archaeology for the Omani conditions. The report builds on the work of academic studies and adds a large dataset to the archaeology of the Batinah, Oman and the wider region. It is hoped that this will allow a wider scale reconsideration of the burial styles of the prehistoric Gulf.

About the Author:
Ben Saunders has been working in archaeology in the UK and Middle East for the past 7 years as an excavator and ceramics expert, following on from his research masters in Indian Ocean trade at Durham University. The team behind the BEH 3-4 excavations are all highly experienced archaeologists combining expertise within the Middle East with modern commercial archaeological practice and techniques. This report is a testament to their hard work in very challenging temperatures and their commitment to Omani archaeology.
Sharma Un entrepôt de commerce medieval sur la côte du Ḥaḍramawt (Yémen, ca 980-1180) edited by Axelle Rougeulle. xxii + 559 pages; illustrated throughout in colour and black & white. French text throughout. 173 2015 British Foundation for the Study of Arabia Monographs (formerly Society for Arabian Studies Monographs) 17. Available both in printed and e-versions. Printed ISBN 9781784911942. £88.00 (No VAT). Epublication ISBN 9781784911959. £15.83 (Exc. VAT) Institutional Price £88.00 (Exc. UK VAT) Book contents pageBuy Now

Cited by al-Muqaddasī in c.985 and then by al-Idrīsī in c.1150, the medieval port of Sharma was discovered in 1996 at the extremity of the Ra's Sharma, 50km east of al-Shiḥr on the Ḥaḍramawt coast of Yemen; it was excavated in 2001-2005. This unique site was actually a transit entrepôt, a cluster of warehouses probably founded by Iranian merchants and entirely devoted to the maritime trade. It knew a rather short period of activity, between around 980 and the second half of the 12th century, which may be acknowledged as the Sharma horizon. Excavations proved that this settlement experienced six occupation phases, which are closely related to the political and economic developments in the region at that time. The material is mainly transit merchandises, small objects, resins, glass and pottery; some of the ceramics were locally made, in the nearby kilns of Yaḍghaṭ, but most (70%) were imported, from all parts of the Indian Ocean from China to East Africa. The typo-chronological study of this closed assemblage brings very precise information on the dating and evolution of the various types recorded, and the historical analyse sheds new light on the history of the Islamic maritime trade in the 10th to 12th centuries.

French description:
Mentionné par al-Muqaddasī vers 985 puis par al-Idrīsī vers 1150, le port médiéval de Sharma a été découvert en 1996 à l’extrémité du Ra’s Sharma, à 50 km à l’est de la ville d’al-Shiḥr sur la côte du Ḥaḍramawt au Yémen ; il a fait l’objet de quatre campagnes de fouilles en 2001-2005. Ce site unique était en fait un entrepôt de transit, probablement fondé par des marchands iraniens et entièrement consacré au commerce maritime. Il connut un brève période d’activité entre ca 980 et la seconde moitié du XIIe siècle, que l’on peut appeler l’horizon Sharma. Les fouilles ont montré que l’entrepôt avait connu 6 phases chronologiques, qui reflètent étroitement l’évolution politico-économique de la région à cette époque. Le matériel mis au jour représente essentiellement les vestiges de marchandises en transit, petits objets, résines aromatiques, verreries et céramiques ; un tiers du corpus céramique est d’origine locale, produit dans les fours proches de Yaḍghaṭ, le reste est importé, de toutes les régions riveraines de l’océan Indien depuis la Chine jusqu’à l’Afrique orientale. L’étude chrono-typologique de cet ensemble clos apporte des informations précises sur la datation et l’évolution des divers types répertoriés, et l’analyse historique éclaire d’un jour nouveau l’histoire du commerce maritime musulman aux Xe-XIIe siècles.
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