Vincent Battesti -
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al-‘Ulā oasis, KSA (Saudi Arabia)

Major mode - Ethnoecology and Genetics: new researches in the north-western desert of the Kingdom.

In the core area of al-‘Ulā palm grove, April 14th, 2019, © Vincent Battesti

In 2019, begins a twofold project in Saudi Arabia in the oasis of al-‘Ulā.

The oasis of al-‘Ulā, capital of the governorate of the same name, is part of Madīna Province, located in north-western Saudi Arabia. Al-‘Ulā, ancient city of Dādān in the wadi al-Qura, was the capital of the Lihyan empire on the incense road. It is located about twenty kilometers from Madāʾin Ṣāliḥ which hosts the Nabataean site al-Ḥijr classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Al-‘Ulā, which is now a modern urban area of about 40,000 inhabitants in a narrow valley, hewn through the sandstone (and basalt) plateau, still has its former walled urban center (al-Dīra) with hundreds of tightly packed mud-brick and stone houses, on a higher part of the valley in order to be clear from the floods.

Two projects:

- Anthropological survey of al-‘Ulā community and its oasis system.
dir.: Vincent Battesti

-  Ethnographic, genetic, and morphometric analyses of the date palm agrobiodiversity in al-‘Ulā oasis.
co-dirs.: Vincent Battesti & Muriel Gros-Balthazard (NYU-AD, New York University in Abu Dhabi).

Both projects are supported by Afalula, the French Agency for the Development of al-Ula and the RCU, the Royal Commission for Al-Ula.

More news coming soon, as soon as both projects are validated.


PhD/ CNRS Doctoral contract offer: Origins and diversity of the Date Palm in al-‘Ulā Oasis, Saudi Arabia: a multidisciplinary approach combining Genomics, Ethnobotany and Archaeobiology

Thursday 5 December 2019 - Vincent Battesti

Effective date: February 1st, 2020.
Application deadline: January 13th, 2020


Doctoral contract offer: Functioning of an oasis community in Saudi Arabia and its relationship to the environment: al-‘Ulā oasis

Wednesday 18 September 2019 - Vincent Battesti

Effective date: November 1, 2019.
Application deadline: October 9, 2019


Photographs taken during a first fieldwork reconnaissance mission in al-‘Ulā (KSA). April 2019

Thursday 2 May 2019 - Vincent Battesti

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