The earthenware pottery

Anne Haour, Shiura Jaufar

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


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.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationArchaeological Investigations of the Maldives in the Medieval Islamic Period
Number of pages38
ISBN (Print)9780367762698
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2022

Cite this