9.30am, Saturday 1 July 2017
Building 65, Avenue Campus, University of Southampton, Southampton, SO17 1BF
To mark the centenary of Sherif Hussein’s forces seizing the
Ottoman port of Aqaba on 6 July 1917, the University of Southampton is hosting a study day focusing on the Arab Revolt against Turkish rule and the role of archaeologist turned soldier, T.E. Lawrence.
Speaking at this one-day will be: Professor Adrian Smith, Emeritus Professor of Modern History; Professor Tim Champion, Emeritus Professor of Archaeology; Dr Christopher Prior, Lecturer in 20th Century History; Dr Mark Levene, Reader in History; Anthony
Sattin, travel writer, broadcaster, and author of Young Lawrence:
A Portrait of the Legend as a Young Man, and Kerry Webber, writer, photographer, designer, and Middle East expert.
The “revolt in the desert” will be placed in the context of French and British intervention in the Middle East, notably the Sykes-Picot Agreement and the Balfour Declaration, the consequences of which still resonate throughout the region.
The capture of Aqaba opened supply lines from Egypt to Allied forces operating further north in Transjordan and Greater Palestine, and effectively ended any lingering threat of a Turkish attack on the Suez Canal.
By examining General Allenby’s successful offensive east of Suez in 1917-18, the military significance of Lawrence’s contribution can be assessed – to what extent does the legend match reality?
Examining Lawrence before and after the First World War offers an additional perspective on continuing conflict in the Middle East and his close connection with Southampton Water.
This study day recognises the continuing fascination with El Laurens and his place in the violent and crisis-ridden history of the Middle East over the past 100 years.