Maritime Cultural Heritage and Urbanisation in the Middle East and North Africa

Crystal El Safadi, Nick Ray, Rodrigo Ortiz-Vazquez, Julia Nikolaus, Lucy Blue, K Westley, Georgia Andreou, C Breen

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Abstract

Urbanisation, comprising development, land reclamation and population growth along coastal margins, continues to place significant pressure on the maritime cultural heritage (MCH), particularly in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Thus, there is a growing need for ascertaining the extent of the affected MCH resource and its condition. One such assessment is being undertaken by the Maritime Endangered Archaeology (MarEA) project, which is generating a unique informed database of the maritime resource in the MENA region. Through a regional overview combined with focused assessment on two case studies – Marsa Matruh (Egypt) and Bahrain – this paper demonstrates the threat urbanisation poses and the damage it has inflicted on MCH. The analyses and documentation that MarEA produces via remote sensing, desk-based and field-based assessments, constitutes a valuable resource that, at the very least, exists in digital perpetuity. It establishes a record that can be drawn upon to formulate targeted strategies and initiatives inclusive of the maritime cultural heritage resource.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-23
Number of pages23
JournalThe Historic Environment: Policy & Practice
Early online date16 May 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 16 May 2022

Keywords

  • Archeology
  • Conservation
  • History
  • Urbanisation
  • Endangered Archaeology
  • heritage database
  • maritime cultural heritage
  • Middle East and North Africa
  • coastal development

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