The Archaeology of Islam in the Red Sea and Eastern Desert: A Reconsideration
The archaeology of Islam is a recently tackled topic in Sudan Archaeology. The few studies carried were mainly along the Nile Valley while the area under consideration in this conference has received little attention.
Even here the areas considered are mainly along the red Sea coast i.e. the main ports and among those Suakin has the share of the lion. While for the hinterland and the desert, Derheib mining areas and Khor Nubt have received some interest. The historical sources refers mainly to trade and mining activities in the eastern desert naming certain Arab tribes who carried these activities and some of them have created small mekdoms . Thus the existence of Arab tribes is well documented but how far that can tell about Islam and the Islamization of local tribes is still a question that waits for an intensive and extensive multidisciplinary approach.
Recent fieldwork carried out in 2015/16 and 2016/17 has shown that we are in the very beginning of our understanding of the process of Islam in eastern desert and the Red Sea Hinterlands.
Prof. Intisar Soghayroun Elzein
University of Khartoum, Sudan