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date: 24 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter reviews the evidence, nature, and development of maritime contacts in the Red Sea and from the Red Sea into the western Indian Ocean from the Neolithic until the start of the Islamic period, c. 4000 BCE–700 CE. In addition to summarizing and highlighting recent archaeological research and ongoing scholarly debates, emphasis is placed on identifying and explaining periods of intensified as well as reduced interaction, and on the relationship between internal Red Sea dynamics and contacts with the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean worlds in light of climate, natural environment, hinterland interest, and a changing geopolitical situation.

Keywords: Red Sea, Indian Ocean, Islamic Period, climate, Myos Hormos, sea travel

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