Africa-Arabia connections and geoarchaeological exploration of the southern Red Sea: Preliminary results and wider significance

Geoff Bailey, Dimitris Sakellariou, Abdullah Alsharekh, Salem Al Nomani, Maud Deves, Panos Georgiou, Manolis Kallergis, Stefanos Kalogirou, Leonidas Manousakis, Prokopis Mantopoulos, Matt Meredith-Williams, Garry Momber, Ioannis Morfis, Ioannis Pampidis, Ioannis Panagiatopoulos, Panagiotis Renieris, Grigoris Rousakis, Vasilis Stasinos, Spyros Stavrakakis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


We report on a preliminary exploration of the submerged landscapes in the Saudi Arabian sector of the southern Red Sea aboard the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research (HCMR) Research Vessel, AEGAEO, in May–June 2013. The survey sampled areas of the continental shelf down to the shelf margin at ~130m depth in the vicinity of the Farasan Islands and combined high resolution acoustic techniques with sediment coring to reconstruct features of the now-submerged landscape of potential archaeological significance, including geological structure, topography, palaeoenvironment, and sea-level change. The region is currently of wide interest and significance: to archaeologists because it is currently regarded as one of the primary pathways of dispersal for early human populations expanding out of Africa during the Pleistocene, in which the extensive but now-submerged shelf region may have played a key role; and to marine geoscientists because the Red Sea offers unusual opportunities as a ‘laboratory’ for investigating Pleistocene sea-level change. Preliminary results indicate that the submerged landscape was characterised by a complex topography with fault-bounded valleys and deep basins, some of which may have hosted, at least intermittently, fresh water during periods of lowered sea level.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUnder the Sea
Subtitle of host publicationArchaeology and Palaeolandscapes of the Continental Shelf
EditorsGeoff Bailey, Jan Harff, Dimitris Sakellariou
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9783319531601
ISBN (Print)9783319531588
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2017

Publication series

NameCoastal Research Library


  • Farasan Islands
  • Continental Shelf
  • Evaporites
  • Last Glacial Maximum
  • Sea level rise
  • Acoustic Survey
  • Homo sapiens

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