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Department of Archaeology


Mr Andrew Blair

(email at

Research Topic

The development of the Indian Ocean economy in the late 1st Millennium AD: an analysis of the trade and consumption of glass


My primary research interest lies in unravelling the vibrant cultural, economic and political interactions which have throughout history shaped the communities living around the Indian Ocean and its related seas. Within this field, my PhD research is focused on reconstructing regional and long-distance exchange networks of the latter part of the 1st Millennium AD through analysing the trade and consumption of glass. Working in collaboration with the British Museum, I am analysing assemblages of glass from archaeological contexts in East Africa, Arabia, Iran and South Asia. Through quantified, contextual and scientific analysis, as well as comparison with other items of trade (mainly ceramics), I hope to better understand the economic and social role of the glass trade in these networks of interaction, and ultimately add sophistication to current models which chart the development of the Indian Ocean economy in the Medieval period.

Is supervised by

Archaeology Staff June 2014