Edited by Krish Seetah
“The contributors do a superb job of situating the Indian Ocean within the most current discourses of historical archaeology, including, importantly, ways of broadening the field. The subject of the book is truly original and it makes a significant contribution to knowledge by its very presence.”
Charles E. Orser, author of Historical Archaeology
“Connecting Continents reviews and engages a tremendous range and depth of research, tacking largely between the history and archaeology (including bioarchaeology) of the Indian Ocean over the last two thousand years. The contributors display true intellectual generosity, and there is absolutely nothing else like it currently available.”
Adria LaViolette, co-editor of The Swahili World
In recent decades, the vast and culturally diverse Indian Ocean region has increasingly attracted the attention of anthropologists, historians, political scientists, sociologists, and other researchers. Largely missing from this growing body of scholarship, however, are significant contributions by archaeologists and consciously interdisciplinary approaches to studying the region’s past and present.
Connecting Continents addresses two important issues: how best to promote collaborative research on the Indian Ocean world, and how to shape the research agenda for a region that has only recently begun to attract serious interest from historical archaeologists. The archaeologists, historians, and other scholars who have contributed to this volume tackle important topics such as the nature and dynamics of migration, colonization, and cultural syncretism that are central to understanding the human experience in the Indian Ocean basin.
This groundbreaking work also deepens our understanding of topics of increasing scholarly and popular interest, such as the ways in which people construct and understand their heritage and can make use of exciting new technologies like DNA and environmental analysis. Because it adopts such an explicitly comparative approach to the Indian Ocean, Connecting Continents provides a compelling model for multidisciplinary approaches to studying other parts of the globe.
Contributors: Richard B. Allen, Edward A. Alpers, Atholl Anderson, Nicole Boivin, Diego Calaon, Aaron Camens, Saša Čaval, Geoffrey Clark, Alison Crowther, Corinne Forest, Simon Haberle, Diana Heise, Mark Horton, Paul Lane, Martin Mhando, and Alistair Patterson.
Krish Seetah, a native of Mauritius, is an environmental archaeologist and assistant professor of anthropology at Stanford University. Since 2008 he has directed the Mauritian Archaeology and Cultural Heritage (MACH) project.
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Between 1500 and 1850, European traders shipped hundreds of thousands of African, Indian, Malagasy, and Southeast Asian slaves to ports throughout the Indian Ocean world. The activities of the British, Dutch, French, and Portuguese traders who operated in the Indian Ocean demonstrate that European slave trading was not confined largely to the Atlantic but must now be viewed as a truly global phenomenon.
A breakthrough study of the underexamined lived experience of Islam, sexuality, and gender on the Swahili coast.
Between 1600 and 1800, the promise of fresh food attracted more than seven hundred English, French, and Dutch vessels to Madagascar. Throughout this period, European ships spent months at sea in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, but until now scholars have not fully examined how crews were fed during these long voyages. Without sustenance from Madagascar, European traders would have struggled to transport silver to Asia and spices back to Europe.