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Department of the History of Art and Archaeology

African Rock Crystal: Production and Trade between the 9th-12th centuries

Stéphane Pradines (Associate Professor, Aga Khan University)

Date: 16 January 2014Time: 5:30 PM

Finishes: 16 January 2014Time: 7:00 PM

Venue: Brunei GalleryRoom: B111

Type of Event: Seminar

Series: Research Seminar in Islamic Art and Archaeology

In August 2013, an archaeological excavation in Mayotte, a small island of the Comoros archipelago in the Western Indian Ocean, has uncovered large quantities of fragments of rock crystal in the form of chips and flakes of different sizes. With this it is now possible to be more precise than the Arab written sources on trade in the Indian Ocean during the medieval period and to pinpoint the exact international trade route and exportation centres. The quantities of rock crystal uncovered during the excavation leads us to believe that the mineral was imported to Mayotte from Madagascar in draft form, then resized and exported to the Middle East - mainly Iran and Egypt.

Organiser: Anna Contadini

Contact email: ac24@soas.ac.uk