Stefan Baumann, Kerstin Droß-Krüpe, Sebastian Fink, Sven Günther and Patrick Reinard (eds.), Trade and Seafaring in Antiquity: Red Sea – Persian Gulf – Indian Ocean. Proceedings of the 1st Muziris Workshop, Trier, 28th May 2021 (Muziris 1), 2023; 17 x 24 cm / hardcover, thread stitching; X + 315 pp. ISBN 978-3-96327-230-1 (book). ISBN 978-3-96327-231-8 (e-book, via ProQuest, Ebsco, ISD)
This volume and the series ‘Muziris’, of which it is the beginning, have their origins in the observation that the cultural, social and economic history of the Ancient World is receiving increasing attention in contemporary research, but there are still research gaps are to be identified. These gaps result from two deficiencies: On the one hand, the inclusion of the rich documentary and archaeological source material is still inadequate. On the other hand, an attempt is rarely made to look beyond epochs, disciplines or supposed geographical and cultural ‘boundaries’.
This is where the focus in this volume on economic activity between the Mediterranean, the Indian Ocean, the Ancient Orient and the Far East in antiquity begins. At the workshop ‘Trade and Seafaring in the Red Sea, Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean in Antiquity’ held in May 2021, this large region and the sea and land trade routes connecting it were examined in the period from the third millennium BC. until the third century AD. from the perspective of different ancient studies disciplines. In addition to the literary sources, the focus was particularly on historical papyrology and epigraphy, but a lot of space was also given to numismatic and archaeological material. In all contributions and discussions, an attempt was made to also take into account the culture-specific value and rule systems that are evident in the sources in the context of economic activities in this area. In addition, a longue durée perspective was developed in order to be able to recognize and discuss structural development processes as well as continuities of cultural, infrastructural or economic connections.