In 2011 an Eritrean-Italian archaeological mission started a research and excavation activities in the area of ancient Adulis, an emporium town along the coast of the Horn of Africa on the Red Sea, in current Eritrea, documented by the sources in the 1st century AD and disappeared between 7th and 8th. The geographical context of Adulis certainly contributed to its splendour in ancient times, and invites us to broaden the research field outside the excavation area to address the ancient commercial networks, without neglecting the intermediate scale, that would explain relations of the settlement to its territorial context and resources. Adulis was settled by the bed of Haddas, a seasonal watercourse, and water was certainly a crucial natural resource for the development of the town. A violent overflow of Haddas was probably the cause of Adulis' sudden destruction between the 7th and 8th centuries. Today, this watercourse is at the same time one of the main resources and one of the major vulnerability factors of this portion of the Eritrean coast, where the communities of Zula, Afta and Foro live a fragile balance, seasonally endangered by its floods. The protection of the site of Adulis today, depends on this same balance.

Seasonal watercourses as a source of wealth and a cause of destruction: the water management in Adulis (Eritrea) in antiquity and today

S. Bortolotto;N. Cattaneo;S. Massa
2021-01-01

Abstract

In 2011 an Eritrean-Italian archaeological mission started a research and excavation activities in the area of ancient Adulis, an emporium town along the coast of the Horn of Africa on the Red Sea, in current Eritrea, documented by the sources in the 1st century AD and disappeared between 7th and 8th. The geographical context of Adulis certainly contributed to its splendour in ancient times, and invites us to broaden the research field outside the excavation area to address the ancient commercial networks, without neglecting the intermediate scale, that would explain relations of the settlement to its territorial context and resources. Adulis was settled by the bed of Haddas, a seasonal watercourse, and water was certainly a crucial natural resource for the development of the town. A violent overflow of Haddas was probably the cause of Adulis' sudden destruction between the 7th and 8th centuries. Today, this watercourse is at the same time one of the main resources and one of the major vulnerability factors of this portion of the Eritrean coast, where the communities of Zula, Afta and Foro live a fragile balance, seasonally endangered by its floods. The protection of the site of Adulis today, depends on this same balance.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11311/1186430
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