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Maritime Cityscapes: Lessons From Real And Imaginedtopo Graphies Of Western Indian Ocean Ports

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Chapter Summary

The purpose of this chapter is to contribute to the last question with regard to port cities of the Western Indian Ocean which stood at multiple crossroads of the transoceanic trade connecting South Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and the Mediterranean world. It highlights and juxtaposes the findings that relate to the topographies of ports investigated so far and more importantly to outline questions that these findings raise concerning the nature of littoral states and societies of the Indian Ocean world before the early modern period and the arrival of new players in the region's commercial arena. In order to avoid making overly broad generalizations from material that is necessarily of limited geographical and chronological scope. The chapter draws for the sake of manageable analysis, and stimulates comments and responses from a number of differing perspectives that will transcend these limits and perhaps delineate different maritime terrains.

Keywords: maritime cityscapes; Mediterranean world; Western Indian Ocean



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