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04/08/2021 01:00 PM Online
Rectangular piece of carved stone with raised relief images of a column, two men holding shades, and a third man gesturing with his hand

The Monsoon Sea:

Glimpses of an Ancient Indian Ocean World

Jeremy Simmons

This lecture will take place online. Registration is required, click through for the registration link. Zoom information will be provided via confirmation email to registered participants. Humans first sailed regularly upon the Indian Ocean roughly 5,000 years ago. They continued to brave the waves over millennia through coastal skips and open sailing with the monsoon winds. By the early centuries of the Common Era, the ocean supported a host of human activity, including individuals from the eastern Mediterranean, Arabian Peninsula, and Indian subcontinent. Despite its perils, maritime travel proved faster and more cost-effective than equivalent overland routes. This lecture dives into the waterways of the western Indian Ocean (e.g., the Red Sea, Persian Gulf, and Arabian Sea). We will follow not only the tracks of mariners braving the waves, but also the numerous items of Indian Ocean trade—spices, gems, coins, textiles—that whetted the demand of consumers well beyond their shores.
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