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Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies (IMEMS)

Staff and Governance

To contact the IMEMS administrative office please use the following details:

For the Administrator (maternity cover)


T: 0191 334 6574

For the Administrative Assistant


T: 0191 334 42974


Associate Director (World Heritage): Professor Robin Coningham - view profile

Associate Director: Professor Barbara Ravelhofer - view profile

Core Staff

The day-to-day running of IMEMS is the responsibility of the Core Executive Committee, comprising the Director and Associate Directors and the Administrator. 

Publication details

Kennet, D (2007). The Decline of Eastern Arabia in the Sasanian Period. Arabian Archaeology and Epigraphy 18(1): 86-122.

Author(s) from Durham


This paper lists and reviews the archaeological evidence for the Sasanian period in eastern Arabia (third–seventh centuries AD). Much of the published evidence is shown to be either erroneous or highly doubtful, leaving very little evidence that is reliable. It is argued that the paucity of evidence in comparison to the Hellenistic/Parthian period indicates that this was a time of marked and continuing decline in the number and size of settlements, the number of tombs and the amount of coinage in circulation, all of which probably result from a population that was both declining in size and participating less in the types of production and consumption that leave discoverable traces in the archaeological record. This is in contrast to the historical evidence, which, although patchy, is stronger for the Sasanian period than it is for the Hellenistic/Parthian period. The argument for decline challenges some generally accepted historical views of eastern Arabia at this time, which see the region as undergoing a notable period of growth. In conclusion, some brief consideration is given to the possible causes of the decline.

Full Executive Committee

Our Full Executive Committee is made up of the Core Executive Committee, listed above, plus a number of executive members including:

International Advisory Board

We are extremely fortunate to have be able to call on the help and guidance of colleagues from around the world who help to shape and guide our direction, strategy and international reach. Our current Advisory Board members are: