07 September, 2012

Tradition and Archaeology: Early Maritime Contacts in the Indian Ocean

Tradition and Archaeology: Early Maritime Contacts in the Indian Ocean
By- Himanshu Prabha Ray and Jean – Francois Salles (Eds.)

This volume compromises a collection of studies extending from the fourth century BCE to the fifteenth century CE and includes updated versions to the Introduction and Preface. The two broad themes examined are archaeological evidence of maritime links, and technological studies of water-craft involved in trade and communication. This inter-disciplinary dialogue provides new insights on early seafaring in the Indian Ocean and questions several theories that have continued to be repeated in archeological and historical writing.
Trade did not cease with the decline of empires; instead there were relocations in routes and changes in the participants involved. A focus on traditions of ship-building and navigation in a study of maritime contacts emphasizes the role of innovation and technological change vis-à-vis tradition and continuity. This addition to the corpus of research on Indian Ocean studies will be useful to archaeologists, historians, and ethnographers investigating the evolution of maritime technologies.

Himanshu Prabha RAY is Professor at the Centre for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Her recent publications include Colonial Archaeology in South Asia 1944-1948: The Legacy of Sir Mortimer Wheeler, OUP, 2008; The Archaeology in South Asia, CUP, 2003; and edited volumes, Reimagining Aśoka: Memory and History, OUP, 2012 (edited by Patrick Olivelle, Janice Leoshko and Himanshu Prabha Ray); Sacred Landscapes in Asia: Shared Traditions, Multiple Histories, Manohar, 2007.

Jean-Francois SALLES is Director of the Franc- Bangladesh Archaeological Mission to Mahasthangarh and was until recently Researchers, Dept, of Archéologie et histoire de l’Antiquité, Institut Francais du Proche-Orient, Amman, Jordan. His publications include France-Bangladesh Joint Venture Excavations at Mahasthangarh: First Interim Report, 1993-1999, edited by Md. Shafiqul ALAM and Jean-Francois SALLES, 2001 and “Pundranagara. Cité antique de Bengale”, sans la direction de J.-F. Salles, Indicopleustoi, Archaeologies of the Indian Ocean, Brepols, Turnhaut, 2007.

ISBN  978-81-7304-947-7    2012   368p.   Rs.1595/ pounds 90

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