Dr Robert Carter (pictured) presents The Lower Sea and the Waters of Death: the Ancient Origins of Seafaring and Maritime Trade in the Gulf.
The history of seafaring in the Gulf is of extraordinary antiquity, going back to the Stone Age. The world’s oldest known maritime trading network was developed here more than 7000 years ago, and the Gulf is home to the earliest known evidence for the use of the sail, as well as the world’s oldest seagoing boat remains.
Subsequently, during the Bronze Age, the world’s first great cities and empires traded across the sea, moving great quantities of copper, grain, oil, stone and exotic luxury goods between India, Iraq and Iran. In this talk Dr Carter will describe these early forays into long-distance sea-trade, using the archaeological evidence found in the tombs and settlements of the region, as well as the Mesopotamian legends, and information from cuneiform economic texts.
Dr Robert Carter, Senior Lecturer at UCL Qatar, is an expert in the archaeology of the Gulf, Arabia and the Middle East, with long-standing interests in seafaring and maritime trade. He has researched in the Gulf for nearly 20 years and has published numerous articles on the archaeology of the Neolithic (Stone Age), Bronze Age and Islamic periods in the region. He has recently been exploring the history of the Gulf’s pearl-fishery, from the 6th millennium BC to the 20th century AD. His resulting book, Sea of Pearls, will be out this Summer.
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