Cockatoo in medieval text reveals extent of East-West trade in the 13th century

Cockatoo drawings in a 13th century Vatican manuscript reveal the extent of the global trade network of the period: cockatoos are native to eastern Island Southeast Asia and Australia, and the manuscript refers to a gift of a yellow-crested cockatoo to Frederick II from the Sultan of Egypt al-Malik Muhammad al-Kamil.

Frederick II of Hohenstaufen’s Australasian cockatoo: Symbol of detente between East and West and evidence of the Ayyubids’ global reach

Frederick II of Sicily made contact with the Kurdish al-Malik Muhammad al-Kamil in 1217 – a year before al-Malik became sultan of Egypt. The two rulers communicated regularly over the following twenty years, exchanging letters, books and rare and exotic animals. The focus of this article is the Sulphur-crested or Yellow-crested Cockatoo the sultan sent Frederick. A written description and four sketches of this parrot survive in a mid thirteenth-century manuscript in the Vatican Library. This article reviews these images, revealing that Australasian cockatoos were present in the Middle East in the medieval period and exploring how and why one reached Europe in the mid thirteenth century.

Source: Frederick II of Hohenstaufen’s Australasian cockatoo: Symbol of detente between East and West and evidence of the Ayyubids’ global reach | Parergon

See also:

CFP: Archaeology of the Seaports of Manila Galleon and the History of Early Maritime Globalization

Conference Announcement
Calling for papers of the international conference on “Archaeology of the Seaports of Manila Galleon and the History of Early Maritime Globalization”
July 2123, 2017Amoy, Fujian, China

 

During 16-19 century, the Spanish navigators established and operated the Manila Galleon maritime route which connected eastern Asia and New Spain in the American continent. The galleons sailed via the hub seaports and trade centers of Manila in the Philippines and Acapulco in Mexico, being a prosperous route for more than 200 years. This pioneering navigation of pan-Pacific regions promoted early global maritime trade and can be regarded as a new maritime Silk Road between the East and the West.

The Manila Galleon Navigation is an interesting academic theme which had been investigated and researched by multi-disciplines as archaeology, history, anthropology, marine navigation, oceanology, and etc. in last half century. The seaport sites and shipwrecks underwater are respectively 2 important types of cultural heritage contributing to archaeological reconstruction of galleon navigation history. An international academic workshop of “Early Navigation in the Asia-Pacific Region” was carried out at Harvard University in summer of 2013. Maritime archaeologists from United States, Mexico, England, Philippine and China met to discuss the early pan-Pacific maritime trade history focusing on the perspective of shipwreck archaeology of galleons (Wu, C. editor, Early Navigation in the Asia-Pacific Region: A Maritime Archaeological Perspective, Springer Press, 2016)

A further dialogue on the galleon and related history of maritime cultural interaction between the Eastern Asia and New Spain will be carried out at Amoy on July 21-23, 2017. The meeting calls for papers focusing on the newest developments in the archaeology of the Manila Galleon connecting seaports of Manila in Philippines, Acapulco and San Blas in Mexico, Hagatna in Guans, Haicheng (Amoy), Macao in China, Nagasaki in Japan. A dozen of presentations respectively on different seaports archaeological fieldworks will be welcome. We hope these archaeological discoveries on galleon seaports will open a new window for sighting and understanding the social cultural exchange on the new maritime Silk Road of pan-Pacific region in last 500 years.

 

Proposed topics:

1, New archaeological discoveries of Manila Galleon Archaeology and related seaports such as Manila in Philippines, Acapulco and San Blas in Mexico, Hagatna in Guans, Haicheng (Amoy), Macao in China, Nagasaki in Japan

2, Maritime cultural heritage of harbors, historical city architecture, maritime folklore and population of different Manila Galleon related seaports.

3, Transportation between Manila Galleon related harbors, and origin of the cargo such as the kilns of the ceramic industry.

4, Trade, merchants, business organizations and navigation, related to the Manila Galleon.

 

Conference information:

1, Time: July 21-23, 2017

2, Place: Xiamen University, Xiamen (Amoy), Fujian, China

3, Financial support: The organizer is the Center for Maritime Archaeology of Xiamen University. It will pay the authors’ air travel to and from Xiamen, accommodations and a field trip in Xiamen, during the conference if the complete submit paper is accepted by the organizers before the conference.

4, Conference contact:

Dr. Miao Liu, Associate Professor of CMAXMU, liumiao@xmu.edu.cn

Lecture: The Decline of the VOC Trade in Indian Textiles to Southeast Asia in the 17th Century

Readers in Singapore may be interested in this upcoming lecture by Dr. Ruurdje Laarhoven.

The Decline of the VOC Trade in Indian Textiles to Southeast Asia in the 17th Century
Date: 23 April 2012
Time: 4.00 – 5.30pm
Venue: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies Seminar Room II
More details here.

Symposium: Macassan history and heritage

The Australian National University is hosting a symposium on the cross-cultural links between traders from Makassar in Sulawesi with northern Australia, including recent archaeological research.

Macassan history and heritage: Building understanding of journeys, encounters and influences
Institute for Professional Practice in Heritage & the Arts
The Australian National University
9-10 February 2012
Continue reading “Symposium: Macassan history and heritage”

Conference: Ancient Silk Trade Routes in Southeast Asia

Readers in Singapore may be interested in this conference held at the Singapore Management University. Registration closes 15 September.

Ancient Silk Trade Routes – Cross Cultural Exchange and Legacy in Southeast Asia
27–28 October 2011
Singapore Management University
Registration details here
Continue reading “Conference: Ancient Silk Trade Routes in Southeast Asia”

Wandering craftsmen behind jade working?

20 November 2007 (National Geographic News) – National Geographic’s story on the chemical tracing of jade artefacts from Southeast Asia. It’s interesting to note that while the jade came mainly from a single source, they were worked outside of Taiwan. And despite their wide dispersal to Philippines, Vietnam and to a large part of Southeast Asia they were worked into two distinct styles, implying some sort of specialised tradition.

Jade Earrings Reveal Ancient S.E. Asian Trade Route
by Carolyn Barry

Jade jewelry found near ancient burial sites across Southeast Asia has revealed one of the largest marine trading networks of prehistoric times, a new study says.

Mineral analysis shows that most of nearly 150 sampled artifacts dated as far back as 3000 B.C. can be traced back to a single site in Taiwan (see map), about 190 miles (120 kilometers) off the coast of mainland China.

This indicates that the small island supplied much of Southeast Asia with a unique variety of the semiprecious stone via a 1,800-mile (3,000-kilometer) trade route around the South China Sea.

Continue reading “Wandering craftsmen behind jade working?”