R.I.M.S 35
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Professor Avner Raban
In memory of Professor Avner Raban (1937-2004)

Contract Archaelogy

The Leon Recanati Institute for Maritime Studies
University of Haifa, Mount Carmel,
Haifa 31905, Israel
Tel: 972-4-8240600, 972-4-8249819
Fax: 972-4-8240493
E-Mail: maritime@


The History of Maritime Civilizations

The historiographical branch of the Recanati Institute for Maritime Studies investigates the daily routine of maritime civilizations in the past from the Bronze Age to recent times. The research conducted by our historians spans a wide variety of aspects of this routine, from the micro levels such as the historical background of a ship, a port, or a person and his travels to the large scale, that of the historical heritage of whole civilizations and the interaction between them through the medium of the sea. Naturally, the Mediterranean stands at the heart of this research, and it is the defined aim of the scholars of the Recanati Institute to participate in the lively debate on the history as well as the historiography of this sea and the region surrounding it. This debate has been going on since the beginning of the 20th century, involving some of the leading historians of the period from the medievalist Pirrene, through the Annalist Braudel, to the self-defined realists Purcell and Horden. It is above all the question of the unity of the Mediterranean throughout the generations that has been hotly contested; and Israels maritime heritage reflects most essentially on the problem, whether it is discussed as a history of particular events, or more generally, in the longue dur?e. Thus, the main mission of our historians is to master the body of evidence from written sources to material culture and to produce from it a historiographical analysis that would qualify the region's part in Mediterranean routine. The fact that the Recanati Institute has a lively archaeological branch allows our students of history to produce a research that is based on material culture, if they so choose. The immediate presence of Geology and Biology under the auspices of that same Institute ensures that all desirable tools are made available for the writing of a history of the Sea that is thorough as it is all-encompassing.

A world map, produced by the North-African cartographer al Idrisi in the 12th century
Last modified: 03 2011 11:09:10
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