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Story of a Giraffe: Tracing Punt

Story of a Giraffe: Tracing Punt

A Contribution by Professor Amira Sonbol   Starting Question: Tracing Punt is an entry into the possibility of an alternative or complementary history of the wider Mediterranean, Red Sea, and Indian Ocean worlds that shows greater interconnections and exchange of culture, goods and people. Away from political history that focuses on a modern conceptualization of the world, narratives of the…

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The Nippur Map 1400 BC

The Nippur Map 1400 BC

“The University of Pennsylvania was excavating in Nippur (Iraq) from 1889 until 1900 and during that time they discovered thousands of clay tablets. This map may have been discovered at that time, but its importance was not recognized until quite some time later.” Babylonian tablet measuring 18 x 21 of“possibly the earliest known town plan drawn to scale[1]” concerns the…

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First Circumnavigation of Africa

First Circumnavigation of Africa

Herodotus’s story, fifth century: “Necos king of the Egyptians first of all those about whom we have knowledge. He when he had ceased digging the channel 43 which goes through from the Nile to the Arabian gulf, sent Phenicians with ships, bidding them sail and come back through the Pillars of Heracles to the Northern Sea and so to Egypt.…

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Turin Papyrus Map 1150 BC

Turin Papyrus Map 1150 BC

“Probably the world’s oldest topographical map … It was drawn about 1150 BCE by an Egyptian scribe named Amennakhte who prepared it for a quarrying expedition into the Wadi Hammamat (‘Valley of Many Baths’) in the middle of the Eastern Desert.  The map shows a 15-kilometre (9.5-mile) stretch of the wadi and its surrounding hills. The fragment pictured above–at the…

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Indian Ocean Symposium 2017

Indian Ocean Symposium 2017

Towards a Re-mapping of Diasporic Circularities in the Indian Ocean World Although the Indian Ocean World has a history of interconnectivity and exchange spanning millennia, it has only recently started to attract scholarly attention. As a consequence, studies on this world lag behind those of movement and connectivity in the relatively more recent Atlantic World. These connections linked the Red…

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