October 27, 2022

A Glimpse into the History Of the Dahlak Archipelago

By Northern Red Sea Museum
The Dahlak Archipelago is situated in the central part of the Eritrean Red Sea, 58 km northeast of Masswa. It encompasses about 210 islands and islets. Dahlak Kebir is the largest island in the archipelago and is 643 km² in area. It is most certain that in the ancient texts, the Dahlaks or the main islands were known by the name of Elaia.
Several classical writers such as Artemidorus and Pliny the Elder as well as chronicles like ´the Periplus Mare Erythraeia´ mention the Dahlak Islands as early as 100 B.C. Scholars have usually identified the Dahlak Archipelago with several islands that classical sources mention to have exported tortoise shells to Adulis.

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