Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription Access

Long Distance Arab Shipping in the 9th Century Indian Ocean:Recent Shipwreck Evidence from Southeast Asia


Affiliations
1 The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10028, United States
 

The present article examines two of the earliest shipwrecks and their cargoes belonging to long distance trade recovered in Southeast Asia as a key to understanding the radical changes that were taking place in the Indian Ocean around the beginning of the 9th century CE. The Belitung (Tang) shipwreck was reported in 1998, in the western Java Sea. In 2014, a second Arab dhow was discovered, in the saturated landscape of reclaimed mangrove on the northern shore of the Gulf of Thailand. Both proved to be of seminal importance: the Belitung cargo consisted of the largest assemblage of late Tang era artefacts ever recovered, whilst the Phanom Surin shipwreck revealed the first finding of Gulf storage jars in Southeast Asia, and the first Pallavi inscription recorded from the region. These are the only securely recorded instances of medieval ships of West Asian design and probable origin being recovered archaeologically in Southeast Asia.

Keywords

Arab Dhow, Belitung, Pahlavi Inscription, Phanom Surin, Srivijaya.
User
Notifications
Font Size

  • Flecker, M., A 9th‐century Arab or Indian shipwreck in Indonesian Waters: Addendum. Int. J. Naut. Archaeol., 2008, 37, 384–386.
  • Guy, J., Early Asian ceramic trade and the Belitung (‘Tang’) Cargo. Trans. Oriental Ceramic Soc., 2003, 66, 13–27.
  • Krahl, R., Guy, J., Wilson, J. K. and Raby, J. (eds), Shipwrecked. Tang Treasures and Monsoon Winds, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC and National Heritage Board, Singapore, 2010.
  • Guy, J., The Phanom Surin Shipwreck, a Pahlavi inscription, and their significance for the history of early lower central Thailand. J. Siam Soc., 2017, 105, 179–196.
  • Tibbetts, G. R., A study of the Arabic texts concerning materials on South-east Asia. Royal Asiatic Soc. London, 1979, 11, 294.
  • Gungwu, W., The Nanhai trade: a study of the early history of Chinese trade in the South China Sea. J. Malayan Br. R. Asiatic Soc., 1958, 31(2), 3–135.
  • Guy, J., Rare and strange goods: international trade in NinthCentury Asia, In Shipwrecked. Tang Treasures and Monsoon Winds (eds Krahl, R. et al.), Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC and National Heritage Board, Singapore, 2010, pp. 18–27.
  • Hirth, F. and Rockhill, W. W., Chau Ju-kua: His Work on the Chinese and Arab Trade in the Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries, Entitled Chu-fan-chi, Imperial Academy of Sciences, St Petersburg, 1911, Reprint Taipei 1967.
  • Heng, D., Shipping, customs procedures, and the foreign community: the ‘Pingzhou Ketan’ on aspects of Guangzhou’s maritime economy in the late eleventh century. J. Song-Yuan Stud., 2008, 38, 1–38.
  • Indrawooth, P., Index Pottery of Dvaravati Period, Department of Archaeology, Silpakorn University, Bangkok, 1985.
  • Trongjai, H., Reconsidering the palaeo-shoreline in the Lower Central Plain of Thailand, In Before Siam. Essays in Art and Archaeology (eds Revire, N. and Murphy, S.), River Books and The Siam Society, Bangkok, 2014, pp. 32–67.
  • Preecharpeechacupt, N., The Phanomsurin Shipwreck. Silpakorn J., 2014, 57(3), 22–35 (in Thai).
  • Whitehouse, D., Sirāf: a medieval port on the Persian Gulf. World Archaeol., 1970, 2, 141–158.
  • Adhyatman, S., Notes on Green Wares Found in Indonesia, Ceramic Society of Indonesia, Jakarta, 1983.
  • Gungwu, W., The Nanhai trade: a study of the early history of Chinese trade in the South China Sea. J. Malayan Br. R. Asiatic Soc., 1958, 31(2) (182), 3–135.
  • Huntingford, G. W. B. (tr.) Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, Hakluyt Society, London, 1980.
  • Flecker, M., A Ninth century Arab shipwreck in Indonesia: the first archaeological evidence of direct trade with China. In Shipwrecked: Tang Treasures and Monsoon Winds (eds Krahl, R. et al.), Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC and National Heritage Board, Singapore, 2010, pp. 100–119.
  • Gibb, H. A. R. (tr.), Ibn Battuta. Travels in Asia and Africa 1325– 1354, Routledge Kegan Paul, London, 1929.
  • Nishino, N., Aoyama, T., Kimura, J., Nogami, T. and Thi Lien, L., Nishimura project: the oldest shipwreck found in Vietnam – testimony to the maritime ceramic route. In Underwater Archaeology in Vietnam and Southeast Asia: Cooperation for Development, Quang Ngai, 14–16 October 2014, pp. 143–152 (conference paper).
  • Mason, R. and Keall, E., The Abbasid Glazed Wares of Siraf and the Basra Connection: petrographic analysis. Iran, 1991, 29, 51–66.
  • Whitehouse, D. and Williamson, A. G., Sasanian maritime trade. Iran, 1973, 11, 29–49.
  • Dahmani, F., The painted jars of Samarra: a reconsideration. In Beiträge zur islamischen Kunst und Archäologie, Ernst-HerzfeldGesellschaft, Band 4 (eds Julia, G., Raina, A. and Simone, S.), Dr Ludwig Reichert Verlag, Wiesbaden, pp. 95–106.
  • Horton, M., Priestman, S., Boivin, N. and Crowther, A., The Early Ceramics of the Zanzibar Archipelago, Archeopress, Oxford, 2018.
  • Chittick, N., Unguja Ukuu: the earliest imported pottery, and an Addasid Dinar. Azania: Archaeol. Res. Afr., 1966, 1, 161–163.
  • Gignoux, P., Noms propres sassanides en moyen-perse épigraphique, In Iranisches Personennamenbuch II/2 (eds Mayrhofer, M. and Schmitt, R.), Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Vienna, 1986.
  • Humbach, H. and Shiping, W., Die Pahlavi-Chinesische Bilingue von Xi’an, in Barg-e sabz. A Green Leaf. Papers in Honour of Professor Jes P. Asmussen. Acta Iranica, 28, Brill, Leiden, 1988, pp. 73–82.
  • Winkworth, C. P. T., Note on the Pahlavi Signatures to the Quilon Copper-Plates, Kerala Society Papers, Trivandrum, 1930, 6, 320– 323.
  • West, E. W., The Pahlavi Inscriptions at Kaṇheri. Indian Antiquary, 1880, 9, 265–268.
  • Cereti, C. G., The Pahlavi Signatures on the Quilon Cooper Plates (Tabula Quilonensis), In Exegisti Monumenta: Festschrift for Nicholas Sims-Williams (eds Sundermann, W., Hintze, A. and De Blois, F.), Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden, 2009, pp. 31–50.
  • Guy, J., Early ninth-century Chinese export ceramics and the Persian Gulf connection: the Belitung shipwreck evidence. In Chine – Mediterranee, Routes el echanges de la Ceramique jusqu’au XVI Seicle, TAOCI, 2006, vol. 4, pp. 9–20.
  • Guy, J., Lost Kingdoms: Hindu-Buddhist Sculpture of Early Southeast Asia, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Yale University Press, New York, 2014.
  • Guy, J., Hollow and useless luxuries: the Tang shipwreck and the emerging role of Arab traders in late first millennium Indian Ocean – Nanhai World. In The Tang Shipwreck. Art and Exchange in the 9th Century (eds Chong, A. and Murphy, S. A.), Asian Civilisations Museum, Singapore, pp. 160–176.
  • Guy, J., The Intan shipwreck: a 10th century cargo in South-east Asian waters, In Song Ceramics. Art History, Archaeology and Technology (ed. Pearson, S.), University of London and Percival David Foundation of Chinese Art Colloquies on Art and Archaeology in Asia No. 22, 2004, pp. 171–192.
  • Liebner, H., The Siren of Cirebon. A 10th Century Trading Vessel Lost in the Java Sea, Ph D, University of Leeds, 2014, on-line.

Abstract Views: 6

PDF Views: 0




  • Long Distance Arab Shipping in the 9th Century Indian Ocean:Recent Shipwreck Evidence from Southeast Asia

Abstract Views: 6  |  PDF Views: 0

Authors

John Guy
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10028, United States

Abstract


The present article examines two of the earliest shipwrecks and their cargoes belonging to long distance trade recovered in Southeast Asia as a key to understanding the radical changes that were taking place in the Indian Ocean around the beginning of the 9th century CE. The Belitung (Tang) shipwreck was reported in 1998, in the western Java Sea. In 2014, a second Arab dhow was discovered, in the saturated landscape of reclaimed mangrove on the northern shore of the Gulf of Thailand. Both proved to be of seminal importance: the Belitung cargo consisted of the largest assemblage of late Tang era artefacts ever recovered, whilst the Phanom Surin shipwreck revealed the first finding of Gulf storage jars in Southeast Asia, and the first Pallavi inscription recorded from the region. These are the only securely recorded instances of medieval ships of West Asian design and probable origin being recovered archaeologically in Southeast Asia.

Keywords


Arab Dhow, Belitung, Pahlavi Inscription, Phanom Surin, Srivijaya.

References





DOI: https://doi.org/10.18520/cs%2Fv117%2Fi10%2F1647-1653