© 2019

Early Global Interconnectivity across the Indian Ocean World, Volume I

Commercial Structures and Exchanges

  • Angela Schottenhammer
  • Considers the historical Indian Ocean World as an emerging “global economy,” tracing close interrelationships between commercial exchanges, the spread of knowledge, human movement, and migration

  • Covers themes such as maritime trading networks, sea routes, nautical archaeology, official and contraband trade, and human mobility

  • Appeals to scholars of Indian Ocean studies, maritime history, economic history, Chinese studies, archaeology, historical geography, and the history of science and technology


Part of the Palgrave Series in Indian Ocean World Studies book series (IOWS)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxi
  2. Angela Schottenhammer
    Pages 1-17
  3. Routes and Connections

  4. Commercial Crossroads and New Perspectives on Archaeological Evidence

  5. Official and Contraband Trade in the Nineteenth Century

  6. Diasporas, Trade, and Human Mobility

  7. Back Matter
    Pages 375-401

About this book


This volume investigates the emergence and spread of maritime commerce and interconnectivity across the Indian Ocean World—the world’s first “global economy”—from a longue durée perspective. Spanning from antiquity to the nineteenth century, these essays move beyond the usual focus on geographical sub-regions or thematic aspects to foreground inter- and trans-regional connections. Analyzing multi-lingual records and recent archaeological findings, volume I examines mercantile networks, the role of merchants, routes, and commodities, as well as diasporas and port cities.


Indian Ocean world trade Commerce in the Indian Ocean Indian Ocean sea routes history of shipbuilding human movement human-environment interaction global economy development of mercantile networks diasporic communities spread of religions archaeological discoveries knowledge transfer history of Islam history of Buddhism Chinese maritime trade Mongol conquest Chinese ceramics East African trade opium trade

Editors and affiliations

  • Angela Schottenhammer
    • 1
  1. 1.University of SalzburgSalzburgAustria

About the editors

Angela Schottenhammer is Professor of Non-European History at the University of Salzburg, Austria, and Research Director and Adjunct Professor at the Indian Ocean World Centre, McGill University, Canada.

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Early Global Interconnectivity across the Indian Ocean World, Volume I
  • Book Subtitle Commercial Structures and Exchanges
  • Editors Angela Schottenhammer
  • Series Title Palgrave Series in Indian Ocean World Studies
  • Series Abbreviated Title Palgrave Series in Indian Ocean World Studies
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2019
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages History History (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-319-97666-2
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-319-97667-9
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XXI, 401
  • Number of Illustrations 15 b/w illustrations, 37 illustrations in colour
  • Topics World History, Global and Transnational History
    Asian History
    Cultural History
    History of Science
  • Buy this book on publisher's site


“This volume provides a timely reminder that the Indian Ocean and the Western Pacific was an active zone for millennia. The scholarly essays brought together by Angela Schottenhammer testify that the historical Indo-(Western) Pacific needs to be much better understood than ever before in our world of shifting power centres.” (Wang Gungwu, University Professor, National University of Singapore)

“In this innovative volume, Schottenhammer and contributors showcase leading-edge research that traces connections between the South China Sea and the Indian Ocean. Especially illuminating are the vivid studies that connect China with West Asia through primary, secondary and archaeological sources, including shipwrecks. Together, they demonstrate the historical significance of trading relations between East and West Asia, and set the stage for a reinterpretation of maritime Southeast Asia between the two. A key text in the expanding inter-Asia history library, this volume is essential reading for contemporary geo-strategists of the re-emerging Eurasian and Indo-Pacific realms.” (Engseng Ho, Duke University and National University of Singapore)