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The Dodecanese: Further Travels Among the Insular Greeks Selected Writings of J. Theodore & Mabel V.A. Bent, 1885-1888 edited by Gerald Brisch. xiv+194 pages; illustrated throughout in black & white. 3rdguides 143 2015 3rdGuides - Archaeopress Travel 8. ISBN 9781784910969. £15.00 (No VAT). Book contents pageBuy Now

A sequel to The Cyclades, a compilation of late-19th-century travel writings (with an archaeological/ethnographical bias) centred on the Greek Dodecanese islands (including Rhodes, Nissiros, Tilos, Karpathos, Patmos, and Astypalea).

The authors are the British explorer J. Theodore Bent (1852-1897), devotedly supported by his wife Mabel Virginia Anna (1847-1929). Theodore met Mabel shortly after coming down from Oxford in 1875 and they married two years later. They were of independent character and means and spent the too few years until Theodore’s early death on a breathless sequence of annual travels to the Eastern Mediterranean, Africa, and Southern Arabia. Theodore’s publications are referenced still by archaeologists and scholars working on sites or regions such as ‘Great Zimbabwe’, Aksum, the Wadi Hadramaut, the Cilician littoral, and, of course, the Greek islands.

Bent’s first successful monograph was based on two winters spent in the Cycladic isles (1882/3 and 1883/4). From the start the couple kept notebooks from which all Theodore’s later lectures and literature sprang. His The Cyclades, or Life Among the Insular Greeks was published in 1885 and has been rarely out of print since. It remains one of the most delightful accounts in English of the region, and few serious travellers and tourists to these islands fail to discover it.

In the year The Cyclades was published the Bents moved a little east and explored the islands now commonly referred to as the Greek Dodecanese. Unforeseen circumstances obliged the explorers to curtail their activities before Theodore’s writings on the area could be edited into a monograph to complement his earlier bestseller. Theodore’s Dodecanesian output was channelled instead into a wide range of articles, while Mabel completed three volumes of her personal Chronicles on their daily travels and travails.

Bent never presented his Dodecanese researches to the public in a compendium, the way he had, so brilliantly, for the Cyclades. Now, 130 years later, his The Dodecanese can appear for the first time: a collection of reminiscences and studies on these sunny, blue-surrounded, and delightful islands.

Contents: ‘Preface’ by Marc Dubin; ‘Introduction’ by Gerald Brisch; ‘J.T. Bent: Selected Writings on the Dodecanese 1885-1888’; ‘M.V.A. Bent: Travel Chronicles for the years 1885-1888’. Fully illustrated with maps and photographs.

Mr. Bent’s book deserves all success, for it is the result of researches pursued in the most laudable manner…[and] a unique description of the life and ideas of a people, which renders it a very storehouse of facts for the student of customs and myths. And in this respect its value will be permanent. Other travellers may follow in Mr. Bent’s footsteps, and fill up what is wanting in his archaeological information; but in a few years’ time, if any traveller be found so enduring as to attempt once more the task which he has so well performed, it is highly probable that a great part of these interesting customs and ideas will have disappeared. (Henry Fanshawe Tozer (1885), on The Cyclades by J.T. Bent)

Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies Volume 43 2013 Papers from the forty-sixth meeting, London, 13–15 July 2012 edited by Lloyd Weeks and Janet Watson. 361 pages; illustrated in colour and black and white. PSAS43 2013. ISBN 9781905739653 . £65.00 (No VAT). Book contents pageBuy Now

Contents: 1) Abdullah al-Ghafri et al.: Timing water shares in Wādī Banī Kharūs, Sultanate of Oman; 2) Valentina Azzarà: Architecture and building techniques at the Early Bronze Age site of HD-6, Rā’s al-Hadd, Sultanate of Oman; 3) Soumyen Bandyopadhyay et al.: In times of war: typological and morphological characteristics of dwellings in Hārat al-Yemen in Izkī, Oman; 4) Anne Benoist: A green paradise. Economic strategies, collective practices, and local ancestors of the Iron Age community of Masāfī (Emirate of Fujairah, UAE); 5) Lucy Blue et al.: Developing an integrated policy for the maritime and coastal heritage of the UAE: a collaborative approach; 6) Manfred Böhme: The ‘petrographic-polychrome style’ and the symbolic meaning of white stones in Hafit grave architecture (poster); 7) Vincent Charpentier et al.: Conquering new territories: when the first black boats sailed to Masirah Island; 8) Richard Cuttler et al.: Typological and chronological variation of burial in Qatar: ‘Ubaid to late pre-Islamic (poster); 9) Hans Georg K. Gebel: Arabia’s fifth-millennium BCE pastoral well cultures: hypotheses on the origins of oasis life; 10) Julie Goy et al.: Archaeometallurgical survey in the area of Masafi (Fujairah, UAE): preliminary data from an integrated programme of survey, excavation, and physicochemical analyses; 11) Hanadi Ismail: Communities of healing practice on al-Batinah coast of Oman; 12) Carine Juvin: Calligraphy and writing activities in Mecca during the medieval period (twelfth–fifteenth centuries); 13) Moritz Kinzel et al.: Conserving Zubarah: towards a conservation strategy for Al Zubarah Archaeological Site, Qatar (poster); 14) Adelina Kutterer & Sabah A. Jasim: An infant burial from late pre-Islamic Mleiha (Sharjah, UAE) (poster); 15) Johannes Kutterer et al.: Second report on the copper smelting site HLO1 in Wādī al-Hilo (Sharjah, UAE); 16) Marion Lemée et al.: Jabal al-ΚAluya: an inland Neolithic settlement of the late fifth millennium BC in the Ādam area, Sultanate of Oman; 17) Romolo Loreto: New Neolithic evidence from the al-Jawf region: an outline of the historical development of Dūmat al-Jandal; 18) Gen Mitsuishi & Derek Kennet: Kiln sites of the fourteenth–twentieth-century Julfar ware pottery industry in Ras al-Khaimah, UAE; 19) Miranda J. Morris: The use of ‘veiled language’ in Soqotri poetry; 20) Andrew Petersen & Faisal al-Naimi: Qal‘at Ruwayda and the fortifications of Qatar; 21) Valeria Fiorani Piacentini: The eleventh–twelfth centuries: an ‘Umān–Kīj–Kirmān/Harmuz axis?; 22) Hannah Russ & Andrew D. Petersen: Fish and fishing during the late Islamic period at Rubayqa, northern Qatar: preliminary results (poster); 23) Jérémie Schiettecatte et al.: The oasis of al-Kharj through time: first results of archaeological fieldwork in the province of Riyadh (Saudi Arabia); 24) Julie Scott-Jackson & William Scott-Jackson: Route planning in the Palaeolithic? (poster); 25) Juan Manuel Tebes: Investigating the painted pottery traditions of first-millennium BC north-western Arabia and southern Levant; 26) Emma Tetlow et al.: Landscape visualization, sea-level change, and human occupation in Wādī Debayān, north-western Qatar (poster); 27) Yosef Tobi: The Jews of Yemen in light of the excavation of the Jewish synagogue in Qanī’.
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