Research title: THE LONG TRAIL OF INCENSE
THE LONG TRAIL OF INCENSE:
EXPLORING THE HERITAGE OF ‘BAKHOUR’ AMONG THE PEOPLE OF SAUDI ARABIA
The land of Saudi Arabia is revealing archaeological sites and materials previously unseen. In this research, the tangible uniqueness is mirrored with intangible heritage that is of utmost importance both for population and outsiders as an inherited culture to be preserved.
An important part of this heritage is the longstanding practice of burning bakhour, which dates back to ancient times, especially between 200 BCE and 100 CE (the Nabataean period). Although the practice continues today among the populations of the Gulf, including Saudis, it is a topic that has not been researched thoroughly, particularly its intangible parts.
The heritage of incense (bakhour) and aromatics, in general, has been revealed in literature through facts and findings but lacks the narrative/storytelling behind it to unveil the nuances of its intangible attributes. This intangible portion could be lost if neglected even though it is central to the everyday life of Saudis.
The narrative of the people is here taken into account as the intangible heritage related to the practice of burning bakhour, to explore its cultural significance of it.
The tangible heritage represented by the archaeological landscapes, the history of incense routes and trading, as well as the ancient artifacts can be investigated to facilitate the knowledge exchange required for understanding these intangible parts.
Therefore, this innovative approach seeks to combine oral history with landscape archaeology to analyze the longstanding practice of burning bakhour and aromatics among Gulf communities.
Fieldwork and digital tools will be used to map the archaeological sites and also to enhance storytelling connected to bakhour and its sensory experiences.
The final goal is to analyze bakhour’s sensitive usage and culture in view of potential tourism development, which Saudi communities, tourism experts, policymakers, and future visitors will embrace under Vision 2030. The archaeological and anthropological aspects of the practice are used to target the enhancement of the Saudi population to stimulate the care and attentiveness to their own heritage.
The feasibility of the project lies in my two-year’s previous work experience in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Living in the country gave me the chance to engage with the people, their language, and their landscape. These established contacts coupled with recent studies undertaken at the University of Glasgow are precious resources to this project in order to preserve a heritage that can serve to increase knowledge both to international academics and within the Saudi kingdom.
English for health operators
Professional and technical communication
Leadership and team-building
Critical thinking and problem solving
Cross-cultural competency in the health system
Disaster dynamics in the health system
I speak Italian, English, French, German, Spanish, and basic conversational Arabic.