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Red SeaIn Search of Lost Space$
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Alexis Wick

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780520285910

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520285910.001.0001

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The Place in the Middle

The Place in the Middle

A Geohistory of the Red Sea

(p.18) One The Place in the Middle
Red Sea

Alexis Wick

University of California Press

This chapter presents a geohistory of the Red Sea in order to articulate its basic setting in the long term, as it has come to be imagined today. It first considers the origin of the name “Red” and the appellation “Red Sea” before describing the sea's geological structure. It then looks at available evidence suggesting that the Red Sea was the site of some of the earliest human settlement and navigation, and more specifically, that humans have been interacting with the sea and its coast since time immemorial. It also discusses the foundational long-term features of the spacetime signified by the name “the Red Sea” and offers a narrative emplotment of the place. Finally, it examines the dynamics of coffee as a distinct feature of the Ottoman Red Sea world.

Keywords:   geohistory, Red Sea, geological structure, human settlement, navigation, spacetime, coffee, Ottoman

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