Bronze Age Boat

Má I

Through a review of available archaeological, textual, iconographic, and ethnographic data, the REF-funded Ma I Bronze Age Boat Project systematically explored the use of Bronze Age materials, tools, and techniques. Then, it replicated the evidence to experimentally construct a full-size hypothetical model of a reed boat that would have traded in the Gulf and western Indian Ocean between 4000 and 2000 years ago.

Conventional research methodologies were counterbalanced by tapping into indigenous knowledge systems associated with western Indian Ocean shipbuilding traditions. This was achieved by including expert shipwrights, skilled in building modern equivalents of Bronze Age boats, in the research and construction teams. These individuals brought essential practical knowledge and ethnographic data that was outside of the experience of the Dhakira Principal Investigators to the project. These traditional skills and knowledge were critical to construction and at the same time allowed researchers to investigate “authenticity” by comparing contemporary expertise with the historical and archaeological records.


Partners: DHAKIRA Center for Heritage Studies at NYUAD, Zayed University, Abu Dhabi, UAE.