12th October 11.30 am. '"Ships and Shipwrecks ' Sailing on the ancient and medieval Red Sea’" : Dr Julian Whitewright

  • The Red Sea is one of the major maritime routes on our planet. This position was cemented in the 19th century with the opening of the Suez Canal, but its history as a corridor between the Mediterranean and Indian Ocean dates back several millennia. This talk will outline the history and developments of maritime activity and seafaring that has taken place along and across the Red Sea over thousands of years, but with particular emphasis on the ancient and medieval periods. This account begins in ancient Egypt, moves through the period of the Roman Empire and finishes with the voyages of the master Arab navigator Ibn Majid, in the late 1400s. The evidence of these voyages includes archaeological remains, literary accounts and navigational treatises, through which we are able to gain an insight into why people undertook to voyage on the Red Sea, the ships that they sailed, and the performance of those ships.


  • Dr Julian Whitewright is a maritime archaeologist at the University of Southampton. His research encompasses the sailing rigs and seamanship of vessels in the ancient and medieval Mediterranean and Indian Ocean, British shipping in the 18th and 19th century, and the understanding of maritime archaeological remains through practical experience and experimentation. He has been fortunate to work at Roman harbour sites in Egypt and Eritrea, to conduct ethnographic research into traditional fishing vessels in India, and to spend long periods of time in the foreshore mud of the Solent. He loves sailing and rowing boats as much as researching them and is a trustee of Atlantic Challenge Great Britain, a charity that aims to preserve traditional seamanship skills through the education of young people through the sea and traditional boats



11.30 am The Cutty Sark Pub just five minutes east of the Naval College,

4-6 Ballast Quay
SE10 9PD



£12 for the lecture or £10 for London Historians and past attendees plus the cost of the light lunch / bar snacks afterwards

Numbers are strictly limited so please book early.