Middle Eastern martime traditions explored in Exeter University's dhow exhibition

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tags: Middle East, Archaeology News Network, Ships, Exeter University, dhows

The maritime traditions of people living and travelling on the major sea routes of the western Indian Ocean are being explored in a first-of-its-kind exhibition at Exeter University, which will even feature a traditiontally constructed dhow, which has been made specially for the exhibition by artist Paul Riley in a workshop on the River Dart.

In the past wooden boats particular to the Red Sea, Arabian-Persian Gulf and western Indian Ocean played a significant role along its busy waterways. The boats are known in English as dhows, though it is not a term used by the people of the region. Dhows carried people as passengers, slaves and pilgrims, as well as transporting cargoes, from timber and goats to pepper and incense. They were used in fishing the ocean’s rich waters and in diving for its legendary pearls.

These distinctive and graceful boats are the focus of the exhibition and an academic conference which takes place at the same time. This is the first time that an exhibition dedicated to the history and significance of the dhow has been held in this country. It brings together a wealth of material culture and images relating to shows and the dhow trade, including full size vessels, as well as a range of hitherto unseen dhow models, photographs and artefacts related to dhow construction and life aboard....

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