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The History of the Peoples of the Eastern Desert

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The History of the Peoples of the Eastern Desert

Edited by Hans Barnard and Kim Duistermaat

History of the Peoples of the Eastern Desert

ISBN: 978-1-931745-96-3 

Publication Date: October 2012

Series: Monograph 73

Price: $77.00, includes CD

Buy this book! Order from the University of New Mexico Press or buy a digital version from our ecommerce site today.

The last quarter century has seen extensive research on the ports of the Red Sea coast of Egypt, the road systems connecting them to the Nile, and the mines and quarries in the region. Missing has been a systematic study of the peoples of the Eastern Desert—the area between the Red Sea and the Nile Valley—in whose territories these ports, roads, mines, and quarries were located. The historical overview of the Eastern Desert in the shape of a roughly chronological narrative presented in this book fills that gap.

The multidisciplinary perspective focuses on the long-term history of the region. The extensive range of topics addressed includes specific historical periods, natural resources, nomadic survival strategies, ancient textual data, and the interaction between Christian hermits and their neighbors. The breadth of perspective does not sacrifice depth, for all authors deal in some detail with the specifics of their subject matter. As a whole, this collection provides an outline of the history and sociology of the Eastern Desert unparalleled in any language for its comprehensiveness. As such, it will be the essential starting point for future research on the Eastern Desert.

Separate chapter PDFs available for purchase at cotsenpress.directfrompublisher.com 

Table of Contents


  • Chapter 1 - Introduction to Part 1: From Adam to Alexander (500,000–2500 Years Ago) by H. Barnard
  • Chapter 2 - Contributions to the Prehistory of the Eastern Desert, Egypt by P.M. Vermeersch
  • Chapter 3 - The Holocene Prehistory of the Nubian Eastern Desert by M.C. Gatto
  • Chapter 4 - The Journey to the Rock Art Gallery of Bir Nurayet (Sudan) by K. Pluskota
  • Chapter 5 - Boat Petroglyphs in Egypt’s Central Eastern Desert by F. Lankester
  • Chapter 6 - Nomads at the Nile: Towards an Archaeology of Interaction by C. Näser
  • Chapter 7 - Gods in the Red Land: Development of Cults and Religious Activities in the Eastern Desert by A.D. Espinel
  • Chapter 8 - Sinai in Egyptian, Levantine and Hebrew (Biblical) Perspectives by J.K. Hoffmeier
  • Chapter 9 - Vegetation and Management Regime Continuity in the Cultural Landscape of the Eastern Desert by G.L. Andersen
  • Chapter 10 - The Eastern Desert Tombs and Cultural Continuity by K. Krzywinski
  • Chapter 11 - The Desert Dwellers of Marmarica, Western Desert: Second Millennium BCE to First Millennium CE by A.-K. Rieger, T. Vetter and H. Möller
  • Chapter 12 - Introduction to Part 2: The Last 2500 Years by H. Barnard
  • Chapter 13 - The Eastern Desert during the Ptolemaic Period: An Emerging Picture by J. Gates-Foster
  • Chapter 14 - Nabataeans in the Eastern Desert during the Roman Period by R.Z. Mohamed
  • Chapter 15 - Roman Gold Mining in the Eastern Desert: The Mining Settlement in Wadi Bakariya by B.J.M. Tratsaert
  • Chapter 16 - A Blemmy by Any Other Name...: A Study in Greek Ethnography by R.H. Pierce
  • Chapter 17 - Blemmyes, Noubades and the Eastern Desert in Late Antiquity: Reassessing the Written Sources by J.H.F. Dijkstra
  • Chapter 18 - On the Archaeology of the Native Population of the Eastern Desert in the First–Seventh Centuries CE by G. Lassányi
  • Chapter 19 - Results of Recent Mass Spectrometric Research of Eastern Desert Ware (4th–6th centuries CE) by H. Barnard
  • Chapter 20 - “You Shall Not See the Tribes of the Blemmyes or of the Saracens”: On the Other ‘Barbarians’ of the Late Roman Eastern Desert of Egypt by T. Power
  • Chapter 21 - Invisible Monks, Human Eyes and the Egyptian Desert in Late Antique Hagiography by K.M. Klein
  • Chapter 22 - Desert Imagery: Bedouin, Monks, Demons and Hermits around Saint Anthony’s Monastery by J.C.M. Starkey
  • Chapter 23 - Nomadism and the Monastic Life in the Eastern Desert of Egypt by M. Jones
  • Chapter 24 - Towards Variability: Cultural Diversity in Economic Strategies of Beja Peoples by P. Weschenfelder
  • Chapter 25 - The Documentation of the Cultural Heritage of the Bedouin of South Sinai: A Pilot Study in Serabit al-Khadim by M. Hanna, F. Keshk and S. Aboubakr
  • Chapter 26 - Nominating Suakin a World Heritage Site by M.D.S. Mallinson
  • Chapter 27 - The Establishment of a Transboundary Biosphere Reserve in Wadi Allaqi, Egypt by M. al-Aawah and C. De Simone
  • Chapter 28 - Beja Innovation and Responses to Environmental Change in the Southeastern Desert of Egypt by A. Roe
  • Chapter 29 - Giving a Voice to the Ababda by M. Abdel-Qadr, W.Z. Wendrich, Z. Kosc and H. Barnard
  • Chapter 30 - Sustainable Desert Tourism: A Tool for Competition by S.B. Hassan
  • Chapter 31 - Concluding Remarks by J.L. Bintliff and H. Barnard
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