Crossing the Indian Ocean before the Periplus: a comparison of pottery assemblages at the sites of Sumhuram (Oman) and Tissamaharama (Sri Lanka)



There is a long tradition of studies of the Indian Ocean trade focused almost exclusively on the trade between Roman Egypt and India. Less attention has been paid to the formative period of early historical long-distance trade in the Indian Ocean. The aim of this paper is to discuss some aspects of the development of this trade, based on an analysis of the South Asian pottery found at two different settlements: Sumhuram in the Sultanate of Oman and Tissamaharama in Sri Lanka.