The Enigma of ‘Aydhab: a Medieval Islamic Port on the Red Sea Coast

Authors


Abstract

The medieval Islamic port of ‘Aydhab played a major role in the hajj and in trade with Yemen, India and the Far East. A recent satellite image reveals the layout of the town in some detail, but there seems to be no trace of a viable harbour. Yet there was a fine secure harbour at Halaib, 20 km to the south. We tentatively suggest that the main port of ‘Aydhab was separate from the town. This hypothesis can only be verified by fieldwork and our objective in this paper is draw attention to the problem rather than to resolve it.

© 2007 The Authors

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