This article deals with Chinese-style ceramic shards recently excavated from Songo Mnara and Sanje ya Kati, two insular medieval stonetown sites in Kilwa Bay, Tanzania. The author argues for a regional approach that better accommodates the complexity and particularity of the diffusion and consumption of Chinese ceramics in what is considered a semi-periphery within the Indian Ocean world-system. The article presents a critical synthesis of a number of existing studies, and explores the evaluative potential of density and comparisons with larger-volume regional commodities as tools of analy-sis for Chinese-style ceramic diffusion in the western Indian Ocean.
Journal of World History – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Jun 15, 2012