The changing positions of Zabîd's Red Sea port sites

Arabian Humanities. 2008;:111-125 DOI 10.4000/cy.1678


Journal Homepage

Journal Title: Arabian Humanities

ISSN: 2308-6122 (Online)

Publisher: Centre Français d’Archéologie et de Sciences Sociales de Sanaa

LCC Subject Category: Social Sciences

Country of publisher: Yemen

Language of fulltext: French, English

Full-text formats available: PDF, HTML



Edward J. Keall


Blind peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 48 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

Medieval writers report confusingly the names of different settlements that over time served as ports of entry for the city of Zabîd that lay inland from the Red Sea coast. Clues can be drawn concerning these changes by considering the time when these reports were made. Eye witness accounts are clearly far more valuable than the citation of a report from an earlier time. Archaeological scrutiny of the coast reveals the real pattern by observing that port settlements were forced to move in response to a changing shoreline which rendered a former harbour unusable. When the settlement moved to a new locale, a new name was assigned. Observations of this kind have been made in the coastal bays of both Ghulayfiqah and al-Fâzzah. Settlement sites were generally occupied for no more than two to three centuries.