Trench F, Portuguese Fort, Bidyah, United Arab Emirates (photo © by Michele Ziolkowski)
Trench F, Portuguese Fort, Bidyah, United Arab Emirates (photo © by Michele Ziolkowski)

Portuguese Fort at Bidyah in the United Arab Emirates

Written by Marco Ramerini, Photos and Information by Michele Ziolkowski

The town of Bidyah in the United Arab Emirates, is found midway along the coast between Fujairah and Dibba. According to the Portuguese souces, the Portuguese had in the area a fort called Libidia. A team consisting of Australian and local archaeologists excavated the area in 1999.

The site of the fort at al-Bidyah (25°26′ N, 56°21′ E) consists in a large square enclosure constructed with large boulders at the foundation level and smaller mountain and wadi rocks used for the successive courses. The forts walls are each around 60 metres in lenght. Excavation was concentred on the north western tower and both the northern and western fort walls. During the excavation were located the remnants of the north western and north eastern towers. (1)

(1) Ziolkowski, Michele “Excavations at Al-Bidiyya: new light on the Portuguese presence in the Emirates” p. 20

From: “O Lyvro de Plantaforma das Fortalezas da Índia, na Fortaleza de S. Julião da Barra, com 22 plantas de anónimo (I – Manuel Godinho de Erédia, de cerca de 1620), e 55 plantas de anónimo (II – de cerca de 1640)”: Hnã legoa de Corfacan … a Norte da praia esta situada a fortaleza de Libidia ……… sua pouoacão de ate 200 vezinhos fundou Matheõs de Ciabra no anno de 1623 por m.do (mandado) do Capp.ão (Capitão) g.al (geral) Ruy Freire: tem de prezidio um Capp.ão (Capitão) Lascarim e 20 soldados.


BIBLIOGRAPHY:

– Ziolkowski, Michele “Al-Bidyah excavations, 1999” In: “BSAI Nesletter” n°4, November 1999, British School of Archeology in Iraq.

– Ziolkowski, Michele “Excavations at Al-Bidiyya: new light on the Portuguese presence in the Emirates” In: “Tribulus” Vol 9.2, pp. 19-21 Autumn/Winter 1999, Bulletin of the Emirates Natural History Group.

– Ziolkowski, Michele “The Historical Archeology of the Coast of Fujairah, United Arab Emirates: from the Eve of Islam to the Early Twentieth Century. Volume I: text” Unpublished Thesis, University of Sydney, Australia. pp. 284-451

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