Tangible: Something you can touch (building, cloths, tools)
Intangible: Unable to be touched; not having physical presence (poetry, dancing,
Why is Heritage Important?
- It tells us about the past and makes us understand it
What is Archaeology?
- The study of human history and prehistory through the excavation of sites (digging
layer by layer) and the analysis of artefacts and other physical remains.
- Maritime landscapes: some are underwater and some in land; they would put rocks
as traps to trap fish when the tide goes down.
- You would search for boat remains in places where they had a lot of it in the past
- Fishing equipment (hooks using bones, shells, stone)
Maritime Experimental Archaeology (trying the same method to see how it actually
- Bundles: A collection of things or quantity of material tied or wrapped up together
- Discovered in 1998 near Belitung island, Java sea
- Oldest in the region (early 9 th century)
- The only one of its kind ever discovered
- The sewn construction marks it as built in the western Indian ocean
Sources for the Reconstruction
- Archeological data from the wreck site
- Iconography, 10 th to 13 th century
- Ethnography 19 th to 20 th century
- Historical texts
- Naval architecture
What we know from Textual, Iconographic and Ethnographic Research?
- Square sails (Sails: a common misconception is that sails of the western Indian
Ocean have always…)
- Two steering systems (Probable)
- No deck (indicated by archeology as well)
WEEK 2 (2): Textual Sources
- What kind of document is it?
- Who wrote it?
- For whom and why?
- Where was it composed and when?
A Case Study Ahmed B. Majid
- Birth (1422-32) and death (after 1500) not known
- Most likely from Julfar
- Over 40 texts and poems
- Primary importance: he is one of two authors essential for understanding pre-
modern navigation in the Indian Ocean. The second is Sulayman Al-Mahri
The Portuguese question
- Al-Nahrawali claims at 1550 that Ahmed b. Majid was the navigator that showed
the Portuguese how to sail from east Africa to India 1498
- However the Portuguese primary sources describing the voyage refer to the
navigator as “Malemo canaqua”, a Muslim navigator from Gujarat, India.
- In addition
Kitab al fawa’id fi usual al bahr wal-qawa’id:
- It is Ibn Majid longest and most comprehensive work
- His only prose work still
Principles of Arab navigation (Ahmed b. Majid)
- Natural navigation: Isharat (birds, they would follow them, cause they’ll go to
land. Water snakes; you know you’re close to India when you see it)
- Sailing seasons and dates: Mawasim: North and East monsoon (winter). South and
West monsoon (summer)
- Star altitude measurement: Qiyas; the polar star is always constant
- The stellar compass: Akhnan
- Measuring longitudinal distance: Sasafa
- Diagonal distance: Tirfa
WEEK 3 (1): Oral History
- Lancaster, William. Lancaster, Fidelity “Identities and Economics; Mountain and
Coastal Ras Al-Khaimah” (Proceedings of the seminar for Arabian Studies, 1999) 29.
- In the emirates, identity gives access to economic activity. The tribes had territories
and owned resources. Mobility was important for surviving since no territory can
provide everything; they moved within the mountains and coast. Trading is essential
because it transformed material and political culture that brought oil and
globalization. Tribal identity gives rights to develop resources within the tribal area.
Providing and looking after one another is important in a tribe. Lack of rain or some
other cause is why the need to other means of immediate livelihood.
Oral history: Oral history is the systematic collection of living peoples testimony
about their own experiences”
How do you conduct oral history?
- Create a list of questions
- Find appropriate people to interview
- Record the interview
- Taking notes or make a report after the interview
- Organize the interviews into an easily accessible format
Analyze and compare the interviews with another and other historical resources
What are the advantages of oral history?
- Records individual stories, rather than large narratives
- Provides diverse perspectives
- Documents perspectives of non-literate populations
- Captures intonation, inflection, production, as well as melody for songs
What are the issues with oral history
- Memory is not always correct
- Oral vs. written communication
- Roles of the interviewer and interviewee
- Impact of recording equipment
How do you record oral histories? (No perfect method)
- Notes: cheaper
- Audio files/ cassettes
Maritime report DUE 25 September 4 to 5 pages
- Introduction (thesis)
- Types of heritage we looked act: notes (that relate to UAE heritage)
o Maritime archeology
o Textual heritage (read first article WEEK1)
o Oral heritage (what is available to us)
o Visual heritage (film, painting, photos; has to be reserved)
WEEK 3 (2): Visual Heritage
It can overlap with archeological heritage
What do images tell us about our heritage and about human relationships with the
Iconography: reliefs and carvings
Early sysnastic/ Akkadian period seals (III millennium)
- Flat bottoms
- High curved and coiled ends
- Different typologies: reed/wood and bitumen
- No mast, no sail
- Small soft-stone pendant 1000-500 BCE
Drawings: a 13 th century sewn- plank boat
Chicago manual style format
Well organized with additional research
Why is it important?
First brief intro
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