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May 02 , 2010

Ancient Silk Trade Routes

Selected Works from Symposium on Cross Cultural Exchanges and Their Legacies in Asia


As key nodes that connected ancient silk routes traversing China, Japan and India, trading hubs, towns and cities in Java and Sumatra and other places in Asia were key destination points for merchants, monks and other itinerants plying these routes.

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Recent archaeological excavations in countries bordering the South China Sea and around the Indian Ocean unveiled remarkable similarities in artifacts recovered both on land and from the sea. The similarities underlined the many facets of regional exchanges and cross-cultural influences among people and places in these networks. Some of the findings indicate a distinct Chinese presence in the commercial, social and religious activities of these early Asian trading posts.

This book collects papers from the symposium on Ancient Silk Trade Routes — Cross Cultural Exchanges and Their Legacies in Asia. It explores several threads arising from this regional exchange of goods and ideas, in particular, the cross-cultural dimensions of the exchanges in the areas of textile trade, ceramic routes, trading hubs, arts and artifacts and Buddhism.

  • Foreword by Ho Min Fong
  • Introduction by John Miksic
  • Textile:
    • Lou–lan Textiles in the Stein Collection at the National Museum, New Delhi (Nirmala Sharma)
    • Tracing Ancient Networks: Linguistics, Hand-woven Clothes and Looms in Eastern Indonesia (Genevieve Duggan)
  • Ceramics:
    • Archaeological Investigations of Chinese Ceramics Excavated from Kenya (Qin Dashu)
    • The China–Borneo Ceramics Trade Around the 13th Century: The Story of the Two Wrecks (Michael Flecker)
    • Mutural Exchange: Chinese and East African Trade in the Late First/Early Second Millenium BCE (Herman O Kiriama)
    • Aceh and the Maritime Silk Route: Aceh and Northern Sumatra, Key Locations on the Ancient Maritime Silk Route (E Edwards Mckinnon)
    • Ceramics along The Spice Trade Route in the Indonesian Archipelago in the 16th–19th Century (Naniek Harkantiningsih Wibisono)
  • Arts and Artefacts:
    • The Silverwares from Shinan Wreck and Qingyuan Port (Qi Dongfang)
    • The Fairy Likes High Building: An Analogy Analysis Between the Newly-Excavated Pottery Building Decorated with ‘Xianglun’ in Xiangyang city and the Shrine of Buddha (Futu Ci) of China (Luo Shiping)
  • Buddhism:
    • Comparing the Cross-Cultural Exchanges of Esoteric Buddhism through Overland and Maritime Silk Roads (Tanaka Kimiaki)
    • Ten Stages of Enlightenment (Dasabhumi) in the Journey of Sudhana in Indonesia and Chinese Art (Shashibala)
    • Exploring the Link between the Borobudur Temple and the Avatamsaka Sutra (Hsien Du)
    • Studies on the Chinese Classics on Java Buddhism (Xuan Fang)
  • Postscript:
    • The Silk Road as Wealth, Hope and Despair

Readership: Academics, undergraduate and graduates students, professionals interested in ancient silk routes, archaeology, Buddhism, Borobudur, and ceramics trade.
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