I received my doctorate in September 2013 from the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies at the University of Exeter. My thesis examined how local, regional and global influences have, over time, influenced the traditions and technologies of the maritime communities on the island of Socotra, Yemen. This research formed part of the MARES Project, a multi-disciplinary, multi-period project focusing on the maritime traditions of the peoples of the Red Sea and Arabian-Persian Gulf.
I was a post-doctoral visiting research fellow at the Berliner Antike-Kolleg from September 2014 to January 2015. During this time I conducted research on the rock art site of Dahaisi cave located on the island of Socotra. I was subsequently awarded a National Geographic / Waitt Foundation grant that allowed me to lead an expedition to continue this research and fully document the rock art.
I hold positions on the steering committee for the Seminar for Arabian Studies and am the Secretary for the Friends of Socotra.
My research interests include rock art studies, landscape archaeology, island and coastal archaeology and cultural heritage management.
“The landscape within: A multiscalar approach to place and space from a subterranean perspective.”
My current research project examines how rock art and rock art sites were utilised within local and regional cultural landscapes. The objectives of this research project are to bring together a range of data gathered from archaeological, ethnographic and historical sources within a multiscalar framework to tackle concepts of space, place, religion and identity. This diachronic approach will address issues of how caves and rock art have been used locally and regionally to create place from space, and what these places have come to represent from a cultural, ideological and socio-political perspective. The geographical focus of this research will be Socotra, an island whose strategic position at the entrance to the Red Sea and rich supplies of incense and dragon’s blood has attracted the interest of merchants and traders from at least the first century AD.
Jansen van Rensburg, J. 2013. The Hawārī of Socotra: Cultural Treasure or Coastal Trash, in Gambin, T. and Nash, H. eds. Ships, Saints and Sea lore: Maritime Ethnography of the Mediterranean and the Red Sea. Valetta: Midsea Books Ltd.
Jansen van Rensburg, J., Caputo, F., Omrani Rekavandi, H., Sauer, E. W., Shabani, B., and Ratcliffe, J. 2013. The Underwater Survey of the Tammisheh and Gorgan Walls, in Wilkinson, T. J., Omrani Rekavandi, H., Nokandeh, J. eds. Persia's Imperial Power in Late Antiquity: The Great Wall of Gorgan and the Frontier Landscapes of Sasanian Iran. (Oxford: Oxbow Books): 423-432.
Jansen van Rensburg, J. 2012. Inscribed stones from Delisha in the journal of Ormsby, in Strauch, I. Foreign Sailors on Socotra. (Bremen: Hempen Verlag): 433-436.
Jansen van Rensburg, J. 2006. The Hawārī of Socotra, in Cheung, C., DeVantier, L., and Van Damme, K. eds. Socotra: a Natural History of the Islands and their People. (Hong Kong: Odyssey Books and Guides): 316-319.
Jansen van Rensburg, J., and De Geest, P. 2015. Rock art from Dahaisi Cave, Socotra, Yemen: A preliminary investigation. Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies 45: 417-430.
Zajonz, U., Van Damme, K., Lavergne, E., Setzkorn, K., and Jansen van Rensburg, J. eds. 2012. Programme Book of the Soqotra Symposium 2012. Nature Research and Conservation at the Interface to Development Cooperation: the Case of the Socotra Archipelago. Senckenberg Research Institute and Natural History Museum, Frankfurt a.m., Germany, 21-23 September 2012, 65pp.
Smith, L. M. V., Mallinson, M. D. S., Phillips, J. S., Adam, A. H., Said, A. I., Barnard, H., Breen, C. P., Britton, D., Forsythe, W., Jansen van Rensburg, J., McErlean, T., and Porter, S. 2012. Archaeology and the Archaeological and historical evidence for the trade of Suakin, Sudan, in Agius, D. A., Cooper, J. P., Trakadas, A., and Zazzaro, C. eds. Navigated Spaces, Connected Places. Proceedings of Red Sea Project V held at the University of Exeter, September 2010. (Oxford: Archaeopress): 173-186.
Jansen van Rensburg, J. 2010. The Hawārī of Socotra, Yemen. The International Journal of Nautical Archaeology. 39.1: 99–109.
Agius, D., Cooper J.P., Jansen van Rensburg, J., and Zazzaro, C. 2010. The dhow’s last redoubt? Vestiges of wooden boatbuilding traditions in Yemen. Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies. 40: 71-84.
Omrani Rekavandi, H., Sauer, E., Wilkinson, T., Abbasi, G.A., Priestman, S., Safari Tamak, E., Ainslie, R., Mahmoudi, M., Galiatsatos, N., Roustai, K., Jansen van Rensburg, J., Ershadi, M., MacDonald, E., Fattahi, M., Oatley, C., Shabani, B., Ratcliffe, J. Usher-Wilson, L.S. 2008. Sasanian Walls and Hinterland Fortresses, Abandoned Ancient Irrigated Landscapes: the 2007 Season on the Great Wall of Gorgan and the Wall of Tammishe. Iran. 46: 151-78.
Omrani Rekavandi, H., Sauer, E., Wilkinson, T., Safari Tamak, E., Ainslie, R., Mahmoudi, M., Griffiths, S., Ershadi, M., Jansen van Rensburg, J., Fattahi, M., Ratcliffe, J., Nokandeh, J., Nazifi, A., Thomas, R., Gale, R. and Hoffmann, B. 2007. An Imperial Frontier of the Sasanian Empire: further fieldwork at the Great Wall of Gorgan. Iran. 45: 95-136.
Van Damme, K., De Geest, P., and Jansen van Rensburg, J. 2004. Conservation Issues on Socotra Island. http://www.ecology.ugent.be/limno/index.html