This chapter presents the results of a pioneering analysis of a large, stratified ceramic assemblage from the Maldives. After an overview of the previous work on archaeological ceramics from the archipelago, it provides a detailed characterisation of the ~ 7500 sherds, presenting the decorative types and main forms encountered to devise the first comprehensive typology of medieval ceramics on the Maldives. It should be noted that although ceramic studies often make a distinction between ‘local’ and ‘imported’ wares, the Maldives, which lack clay sources and therefore a local potting industry, provide an unusual case study. The material recovered is related to other regional assemblages, drawing on published data from the wider Western Indian Ocean, in particular Sri Lanka, India, Yemen, and Pakistan. Prominent within the assemblage are ‘Indian-type’ wares which have been widely documented, for example on the Swahili coast, and are thought to signal the presence of settled communities of long-distance traders. In conclusion, directions for future research are identified.
|Title of host publication||Archaeological Investigations of the Maldives in the Medieval Islamic Period|
|Number of pages||38|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2022|