Sailing with the Mu’allim: The technical practice of sailing in the Medieval Red Sea


Whitewright, J. (2012) Sailing with the Mu’allim: The technical practice of sailing in the Medieval Red Sea. In, Agius, Dionisius A., Cooper, John P., Trakadas, Athena and Zazzaro, Chiara (eds.) Navigated Spaces, Connected Places: Proceedings of Red Sea Project V held at the University of Exeter September 2010. Oxford, Archaeopress, 147-156. (British Archaeological Reports, International Series , 2346).

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Description/Abstract

In most periods of its history, the Red Sea has acted as a conduit for communication, trade and exchange for a range of cultures in the Mediterranean, Indian Ocean and along the shores of the Red Sea itself. This is particularly true in the medieval period when sailing vessels from all over the Indian Ocean plied the waters of the Red Sea. To fully appreciate the human endeavour of this complex exchange system an attempt must be made to investigate and understand the technical practices utilised by medieval mariners when sailing on the Red Sea. Direct archaeological evidence for such practices remain frustratingly absent from the archaeological record. However, a rich corpus of historical sources survive that can greatly inform our understanding of this subject. The writings and treatises of Indian Ocean navigators such as Ibn Mājid and Sulaimān al-Mahrī provide clear evidence for the nature of sailing rigs, the practices used when under sail and the probable performance of medieval sailing vessels in the western Indian Ocean and Red Sea. Addressing these texts purely from the perspective of sailing and voyaging allows a detailed layer of technical information to be added to our existing knowledge of Red Sea sailing and navigation during the medieval period

Item Type: Book Section
ISBNs: 9781407309293
Related URLs:
Keywords: red sea, indian ocean, sailing, Ibn Mājid, Sulaimān al-Mahrī
Subjects: C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CC Archaeology
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities > Archaeology
ePrint ID: 336426
Date Deposited: 28 Mar 2012 09:08
Last Modified: 27 Mar 2014 20:20
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/336426

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