Fieldwork success on the Farasan Islands

Members of the DISPERSE team undertook a major campaign of shell mound excavation and sampling on the Farasan Islands between 20 January and 2 March. Seventeen shell mounds in a variety of locations were trenched to the base, and the trench sections were drawn and photographed, followed by the removal of column samples for dating and shell analysis.

This follows methods developed in the Weipa shell mounds project of Northern Australia, and Casey Alleley and Bernie Larsen from the Weipa team took part in the Farasan work. Also, for the first time we were able to include a group of archaeology students from Jizan University, seen in the accompanying photograph with other members of the DISPERSE team: Matthew Williams, Bernie Larsen, Geoff Bailey and Casey Alleley. Katerina Douka from Oxford also spent time on the excavations to collect a series of samples for radiocarbon dating. We also received a visit from Rashad Bantan and Ramadan Abu-Zied from King AbdulAziz University, who are carrying out geological and palaeoenvironmental sampling on the Farasan Islands.

The preliminary report on the fieldwork can be found here