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A journey into the past

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Chapter Summary

This is the introductory chapter of this book on classic ships of Islam. The book is concerned with the coastal lands surrounding the Western Indian Ocean which comprises the Red Sea (the African-Arabian littorals), the Gulf (Arabian-Persian littorals) and the Arabian Sea i.e. from East Africa to West India. It also includes the Euphrates and Tigris rivers of Mesopotamia and the River Nile of Egypt. The book focuses on the study of ships and seafaring in the classical and medieval periods of Islam in the Western Indian Ocean. It discusses the relationship of maritime material culture to the wider picture of the ethnic, religious and linguistic mix, as well as the technological and economic developments of trade and commerce in the Western Indian Ocean.

Keywords: Egypt; Islam; Persian Gulf; River Nile; ships; Tigris rivers; Western Indian Ocean



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