Singapore and the Silk Road of the Sea, 1300–1800 by John N. Miksic

By John N. Miksic

Beneath the fashionable skyscrapers of Singapore lie the is still of a miles older buying and selling port, filthy rich and cosmopolitan and a key node within the maritime Silk highway. This booklet synthesizes 25 years of archaeological examine to reconstruct the 14th-century port of Singapore in higher element than is feasible for the other early Southeast Asian city. 
 The photograph that emerges is of a port the place humans processed uncooked fabrics, used cash, and had really expert occupations. inside of its protecting wall, town was once good geared up and wealthy, with a worldly inhabitants that incorporated citizens from China, different components of Southeast Asia, and the Indian Ocean. totally illustrated, with greater than three hundred maps and color photographs, Singapore and the Silk highway of the ocean offers Singapore's heritage within the context of Asia's long-distance maritime exchange within the years among 1300 and 1800: it quantities to a dramatic new knowing of Singapore's pre-colonial past.

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No burials have yet come to light. All artifacts found here represent thrash discarded when deemed no longer useful. Such remains are difficult for the unspecialized eye to discern. This is why ancient Singapore was able to evade detection for so long. Information on ancient Singapore after 1400 is less comprehensive than for the fourteenth century, but we can use the little data we have to build a general picture of the settlement during the period of the Melaka sultanate and its successors in Johor and Riau up to about 1600.

The Port of Trade Economic historian Karl Polanyi argued that long-distance trade in ancient times was very different than the system that evolved in the early modern period. International trade only became integrated with price-fixing markets in the seventeenth century. Polanyi coined the term “port of trade” to refer to a premodern system based on different principles (1957). Polanyi uses the term “administered trade” to describe a pattern of exchange 40 Singapore & the Silk Road of the Sea 1300 –1800 of status symbols and ritual objects.

Neither Marinus nor Ptolemaeus ever left the Mediterranean; they gathered information by interviewing diplomats, merchants, and soldiers. Some of Ptolemaeus’ informants might have been Indians visiting Alexandria (Warmington 1928: 109). Ptolemaeus was particularly interested in trade with Southeast Asia. His data for the silk roads by land and sea are more accurate than his reports on northern Europe (Pagani 1990: v). The vibrant traffic going east from Alexandria by both land and sea generated much information that he could compare and synthesize.

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