‘Ports and Trans-Ports in the Indian Ocean’ – An International Workshop and a Field-Excursion / MoU signed with Sindh University

HALBAN The “International Start-Up Workshop Ports and Trans-Ports. Evolution and Revolution(s) in the Indian Ocean World” exploring historical and contemporary networks and mobility on sea and on land within the Indian Ocean was held at GUtech recently. The workshop was organized by the Research Centre Indian Ocean (RIO) in cooperation with Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (Germany), the Max Plank Institute for Social Anthropology (Germany), Sindh University (Pakistan) and the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS). A large number of international scholars from various universities in Europe, the Middle East and Asia were participating in the three-day workshop and a field-excursion.

On the sidelines of the conference held at the History of Science Center at GUtech, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between GUtech and the University of Sindh, Jamshoro (Pakistan) in order to promote and encourage scientific research and academic collaboration in various fields. The MoU was signed by both the Rectors and by Prof. Dr. Michael Jansen (RIO – Research Center Indian Ocean) and Prof. Sarfraz Hussain Solangi (CIVIS – Center for Indus Valley Integrated Studies). Different Memoranda of Understanding with the Universities of Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg and the Aga Khan University in London are under preparation.

The field-excursion of the conference was headed by Prof. Dr. Michael Jansen, who is an archaeologist and the Founding-Rector of GUtech. The five day excursion included historical archaeological sites like Qalhat, Bibi Maryam Tomb and Duqum with its modern port developments, followed by Salalah, Khor Rori and the ancient frankincense port of Al Baleed. Sumharam (Khor Rori) and Al Baleed are one of the oldest historical sites in Oman, showcasing the rich maritime history and links within the Indian Ocean. Together with the “Land of Frankincense” Wadi Dokar and both the sides have been listed as one of Oman´s UNESCO World Heritage sites in 2000 as well as the ancient port of Qalhat in 2018.

Prof. Dr. Michael Jansen, Director of RIO, explained that 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, and Malakka to China.

(c) GUtech & RIO

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