Late Islamic ceramic distribution networks in the Gulf: new evidence from Jazīrat al-Ḥamrāʾ in Ras al-Khaimah

Authors

  • Seth Priestman British Museum

Keywords:

Islamic archaeology, ceramic exchange, distribution networks, maritime trade, Islamic archaeology, ceramic exchange, distribution networks, maritime trade, Ras al-Khaimah

Abstract

The Jazīrat al-Ḥamrāʾ Restoration Project is a large-scale, long-term initiative run by the Department of Antiquities and Museums of the Government of Ras al-Khaimah involving the conservation of buildings within one of the largest and best-preserved areas of standing traditional architecture in the region. Archaeological investigation forms an integral part of the research design, with excavation being undertaken in advance of restoration work. With work progressing on a near-continuous basis since 2014, over 330 trenches have been excavated to date covering a combined area of more than 4500 m2. The occupation sequence spans the period from at least the mid-eighteenth century up to the town’s abandonment in the early 1970s. The resulting body of stratified finds, which includes over 100,000 ceramic vessel fragments, provides a critical resource with which to understand the social and economic life of the settlement during a period of profound historical transformation. At the highest structural level, the town was inextricably bound up with the political power play and rival interests of nation states played out across the region. Ceramic finds offer an unedited primary historical resource, a material expression of the history of the town enacted at a household level.

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Published

31/08/2020

How to Cite

Priestman, S. (2020). Late Islamic ceramic distribution networks in the Gulf: new evidence from Jazīrat al-Ḥamrāʾ in Ras al-Khaimah. Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies, 50(1), 293–306. Retrieved from https://archaeopresspublishing.com/ojs/index.php/PSAS/article/view/303