HALBAN A non-public international workshop exploring the various historical and contemporary networks and mobility on sea and on land within the Indian Ocean was launched at the History of Science Centre of the German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) today morning. The workshop entitled: “International Start-Up Workshop Ports and Trans-Ports. Evolution and Revolution(s) in the Indian Ocean World”, is organized by the Research Centre Indian Ocean (RIO), in cooperation with Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, the Max Plank Institute for Social Anthropology, Sindh University and the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS). International scholars from various fields and from universities in Europe, the Middle East and Asia are participating in the three-day workshop.
Dr. Armin Eberlein, Vice-Rector for Academic Affairs at GUtech, welcomed the delegates. In his speech he said that the workshop is held at the right time, when Oman with its unique geographical location in the Indian Ocean, prepares to be become a commercial and strategic hub in the region, focusing on trade, logistics, fishing and tourism. Prof. Dr. Michael Jansen, Director of RIO, an archaeologist and the Founding-Rector of GUtech, explained in his welcome speech that sea routes and networks develop out of needs and knowledge of places to sail to, connected with needs of ‘goods’ to be brought or taken along. Improvement of shop technology and astronomic/navigation capacity resulted in the exploitation of the Indian Ocean water ways. First interregional networks developed between the Indus Valley, Mesopotamia and Oman in the Third Millennium. Other networks developed along the river Nile, the Red Sea and the Mediterranean. Later on, many more networks developed out of which the Roman network connected the Roman Empire via the Red Sea to India, Malakka to China. This morning Prof. Jansen presented his archaeological research on Mohenjo-Daro to the audience. Prof. Dr. Khaled Douglas from Sultan Qaboos University, Department of Archeology, presented his excavations at Dahwa Inland and Coast: A case for Hinterland Ports. Dr. Denny Frenez from the University of Bologna and the Italian Institute for the Middle and Far East (ISMEO) spoke about his research “Indian Ocean Seafaring Trade in the Bronze Age. The Indus-Magan Connection”.
As part of the international workshop an evening lecture will be held tomorrow evening at Kempinski Hotel Al Mouj, at 8 pm.“How to Study an Ocean: Connectivity in Motion and the Indian Ocean World”, a Talk by Prof. Dr. Burkhard Schnepel, Martin Luther University, Germany and Director of the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology
(c) GUtech; Text & Photo: Dr. Manuela Gutberlet