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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

Ishida, S., Parker, A.G., Kennet, D. & Hodson, M.J. (2003). Phytolith analysis from the archaeological site of Kush, Ras al-Khaimah, United Arab Emirates. Quaternary Research 59(3): 310-321.

Author(s) from Durham


Despite the wealth of archaeological sites and excellent conditions for preservation, few phytolith investigations have been undertaken from the Arabian Gulf region. The results from the Sasanian and Islamic archaeological tell of Kush, Ras al-Khaimah, United Arab Emirates, are presented. Kush is situated just inside the Gulf on an important trade route. The occupation sequence dates from the 4th century A.D. until the 13th century A.D., recording the development of the site in the Sasanian period, followed by the arrival of Islam in the 7th century A.D. and the final abandonment of the site in the late 13th century when the nearby site of al-Mataf (Julfar) began to develop closer to the present day coastline. All the samples analyzed contained abundant phytoliths (short cells, elongated cells, and groups of elongated cells) of various types. They included date palm (Phoenix dactylifera), papillae (possibly from barley (Hordeum)), and hair cells possibly from species of canary grass (Phalaris spp.). Some researchers have suggested that groups of elongated cells may indicate the presence of irrigation in semiarid environments. The present results for this class of phytoliths appeared to imply that intensive irrigation was unlikely to have taken place around Kush.

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: