The maritime context of the trans-Mediterranean—Indian Ocean trade

critical review of Roman era vessels of the Red Sea

Anna M. Kotarba-Morley

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

Despite a great deal of research undertaken by historians, archaeologists and other maritime scholars, there remains a rather poor understanding of the design and construction of ships that sailed the Red Sea and Indian Ocean in antiquity. Similarly, there are few indications as to whether any unifying features existed that made them particularly suited to sailing in monsoonal conditions or within enclosed sea basins, or both. This kind of information is important to gain a deeper understanding of the types of boats used to carry cargo over long-distance trade routes in these pioneering times, early on in the shift to a globalised economy. It could also provide indirect evidence for port and harbour infrastructure available along these routes. This paper will evaluate the current state of knowledge concerning the types of vessels that plied the Red Sea and Indian Ocean trade routes from the Ptolemaic to the Roman period.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHuman interaction with the environment in the Red Sea
Subtitle of host publicationselected papers of Red Sea Project VI
EditorsDionisius A. Agius, Emad Khalil, Eleanor M. L. Scerri, Alun Williams
Place of PublicationLeiden ; Boston
PublisherBrill
Chapter8
Pages171-206
Number of pages36
ISBN (Electronic)9789004330825
ISBN (Print)9789004326033
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Roman archaeology
  • Red Sea
  • Roman Ships
  • Maritime Archaeology
  • Indo-Roman trade

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