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Full Access Maritime Trade and Societal Transitions in the Western Indonesian Archipelago: Samudra-Pasai at the Dawn of the European Age (c. 1200-1500)

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Maritime Trade and Societal Transitions in the Western Indonesian Archipelago: Samudra-Pasai at the Dawn of the European Age (c. 1200-1500)

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image of Asian Review of World Histories

This study is the substantial update to a journal article published in 1981, focal on the first northeast Sumatra fourteenth- and fifteenthcentury Islamic Sultanate Samudra-Pasai port-of-trade. In doing so the study represents the significant transitions in Indian Ocean history that were substantially influenced by Michael Pearson’s scholarship. Samudra-Pasai was a notable eastern Indian Ocean fourteenth- and fifteenth-century Straits of Melaka international maritime stopover that competed against the west-central Malay Peninsula-based Melaka emporium for regional commercial prominence prior to Portuguese seizure of Melaka in 1511. Past histories are based on the several surviving contemporary maritime sojourner accounts, Chinese dynastic records, and the local sixteenth-century Hikayat Raja-Raja Pasai dynastic chronicle. Recent anthropological surveys of the Sumatra upstream pair with new archaeological recoveries, which include dated Arabic script inscribed dynastic tombstones, to mandate a re-evaluation of upstream downstream networking that was the basis of Samudra- Pasai’s over two-century sovereignty. This study moves beyond initially innovative 1970s conceptions of early Straits of Melaka upstreamdownstream networking in its incorporation of Michael Pearson’s adaptive characterizations of Indian Ocean port-of-trade coastline littorals, and introduces the importance of newly focal offshore communities as these are now prominent in the most recent Indian Ocean scholarship.

Affiliations: 1: Ball State University


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