The Archaeology of Seafaring in Ancient South Asia (Cambridge World Archaeology)

The Archaeology of Seafaring in Ancient South Asia (Cambridge World Archaeology)

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Himanshu Prabha Ray
Cambridge University Press, 8/14/2003
EAN 9780521011099, ISBN10: 0521011094

Paperback, 350 pages, 24.7 x 17.4 x 2.3 cm
Language: English

Prior to European expansion, communities of the Indian subcontinent had a strong maritime orientation. In this new archaeological study, Himanshu Prabha Ray explores seafaring activity, religious travel and political economy in this ancient period. By using archaeological data from the Red Sea to the Indonesian archipelago, she reveals how the early history of peninsular South Asia is interconnected with that of its Asian and Mediterranean partners in the Indian Ocean Region. The book departs from traditional studies, focusing on the communities' maritime history rather than agrarian expansion and the emergence of the state. Rather than being a prime mover in social, economic and religious change, the state is viewed as just one participant in a complex interplay of social actors, including merchants, guilds, boat-builders, sailors, pilgrims, religious clergy and craft-producers. A study that will be welcomed by students of Archaeology and Ancient History, particularly those interested in South Asian Studies.

Part I. Historiography and the Maritime Landscape
1. The perspective
2. Historiography
3. The maritime landscape
4. Geographical knowledge of the Indian Ocean in antiquity
Part II. Fishing and Sailing Communities
Cross-Cultural Contacts
5. Marine and coastal resources
6. Maritime communities
7. Boat nomads
8. Piracy
9. Fishing communities
the historical record
10. Sailing communities
Part III. La Longue Durée
Boat-Building Technology and Navigation
11. Archaeology of the boat
12. The stitched tradition
13. Early European response
14. The ethnographic evidence
15. Boat-building centres
16. Traditional navigation
17. Ownership of vessels
18. Organisation of shipping
19. Organisation of shipping
20. Innovation and change
21. Repair and maintenance
22. Chronology of disjunction
Part IV. Maritime Trade Networks
The Beginnings (third-second millenia BCE)
23. Mesopotamian contacts
24. The Persian Gulf and early maritime networks
25. The Harappan civilization
26. The maritime regions of the Harappans
27. Networks of trade
28. Transition and change
Part V. Regional Integration
(late second - first millennium BCE)
29. The Persian Gulf
30. Socotra
31. Peninsular India
32. Sri Lanka
33. Southeast Asia
Part VI. Consolidation of Political Structure
34. The setting
35. Political concepts in early Buddhism
theory and practice
36. Satavahanas and their successors
37. Alliance as political strategy
38. The early policies in Sri Lanka
39. Political developments in early Southeast Asia
40. Royalty and ritual
Part VII. The Greeks
Adventurers, Traders and Travellers
41. The explorers
42. Hellenistic settlements
43. The Nabataeans, Sabeans and Gerrhaeans
44. The maritime network
45. Christian communities
Part VIII. Merchant Lineage and the Guild
46. Merchant communities and interaction with the state
47. Organisation of inland trade
48. The Indian Ocean network
49. Foreigners and trade networks
50. Money and the use of coins
Part IX. Multiple Meanings
Craft Production and Trade Networks
51. The trading commodities
52. The textiles
53. Beads
54. Ivory
55. Metal artefacts
56. Organisation of crafts
Part X Shared Faith
57. Social base of early Buddhism
58. The worship of the Stupa and the Relics
59. Pilgrimage
60. Ritual and ceremony
61. Buddhism and maritime activity
62. Archaeology of monastic sites
63. Continuity and change
Part XI. Retrospect and Prospect
64. In conclusion
65. Future research strategy.

"Finally, maritime historians will rejoice that we now have our first sea-focussed discussion of the early history of South Asia." International Journal of Maritime History