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The Ribât System and Its Role In Coastal Navigation

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image of Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient

The article deals with the role of the coastal defense system, called ribât in medieval Islam, in coastal navigation. The issues emerge through this discussion are the distance between each one of the watching points along the coastal frontiers, inhabitants of the ribats, and the civil functions of the ribâts. The article proves that these fortresses located along the Islamic coastal frontiers along the Mediterranean as well as the Indian Ocean functioned as a refuge for attacked Muslim merchant ships by foreign powers and pirates. Our evidence came from written sources and archeological finds.

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/content/journals/10.1163/1568520991446811
1999-05-01
2016-12-10

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