Indian Ocean In Antiquity
The beaches of the Indian Ocean stretch in a golden arc from the Atlantic to the Pacific, delimiting the entire southern boundary of the old world. On the lands adjoining this ocean and its inlets, almost every variety of human adaptation is or has been represented, as have the interactions between them. Societies of fisherman and pirates, hunters and gatherers, herdsmen and agrarian farmers, states and urban civilizations based on farming or trade, have all flourished at one time or another. Yet studies of the systems of the Indian Ocean before the spread of Islam remain in their infancy and until now the record on early Indian Ocean civilizations has been fragmented. The Indian Ocean in Antiquity brings together an international group of leading scholars to present, for the first time, a comprehensive view of the current state of research on the early populations of the area. After an introductory chapter, the twenty-six papers are grouped into four sections: The Environment and Natural Resources; The Early Civilizations; The Classical Period and Between Africa and China. They comprise the most far-reaching look at this vast region in pre-modern times that has ever been available. This pioneering volume makes an important contribution to the understanding of a region of great significance in world history, both past and future.Topics include: sea levels and other factors affecting coastal settlement; contracts between Mesopotamia and the Indus; Achaemenid, Parthian and Sasanian maritime activity; Roman interests in the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean; the archeological evidence for early trade between South and Southeast Asia; the early settlement of Madagascar; the ethnographic evidence for long-distance contacts between Oceania and East Africa and recent discoveries of Christian and Hindu remains in Quanzhou.