Documentation and evaluation of maritime endangered archaeology in the Kingdom of Bahrain (the MarEA project)
Keywords:Maritime Archaeology, Endangered Sites, Bahrain, Coastal archaeology, Maritime cultural heritage
This paper outlines some of the research goals and methodological objectives of the Maritime Endangered Archaeology (MarEA) project, taking the maritime and coastal archaeology of the Kingdom of Bahrain as a case study. The Arabian Gulf’s exponential population growth and fast rate of urban development, particularly in the coastal margins, has had a profound impact on the maritime cultural heritage (MCH) of the region and in particular, on the coastal heritage of the Kingdom of Bahrain over the last decades. Therefore, the need to document and assess threats to the maritime and coastal archaeology of the island has never been so urgent.
MarEA aims to document and record submerged and coastal archaeology of the Middle East and North Africa, through the analysis of satellite imagery, extant datasets, and literature, working closely with local partners. The project evaluates disturbances and threats acting upon the cultural heritage. It does so by consolidating the information in EAMENA’s (Endangered Archaeology in the Middle East and North Africa project) open-access database. This paper highlights MarEA’s methodology by demonstrating an analysis of threats and changes that have destroyed, impacted, or continue to impact maritime cultural heritage sites in Bahrain, including Qal’at al-Bahrain, the coastal towns of Manama and Muharraq, and offshore sites.
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