Cricket run or Home run? Can a correlation between Emporia and non-Emporia based trade be made using the wreck of the Lena Shoal?

Dublin Core


Cricket run or Home run? Can a correlation between Emporia and non-Emporia based trade be made using the wreck of the Lena Shoal?


Session 4
The archaeological study of ships’ cargo, hull, and maritime infrastructure


Is it possible to look at a shipwreck like the Lena Shoal and investigate patterns of emporia and non-emporia trade throughout Southeast Asia? Was the boat simply ferrying cargo from one specific port to another specific one, or was the trade a linear, multi-legged run? By looking at the artifactual assemblage of the boat and its cargo, its construction, as well as the socio-political and economic climate of 15th Century Southeast Asia and China, it is the goal of this paper to assess what trading might have looked like from a boat like the Lena Shoal.

Both types of trading were most likely happening simultaneously, but there may certain characteristics that the Lena Shoal wreck possessed that may stress a specific role or function that it had in the smaller (or larger) scheme of Southeast Asian trade. Construction methods and ship size of the boat may reveal details into the boats’ intended role in maritime trade. Can correlations be made between ships of specific sizes having specific purposes? An attempt at comparing ship size and cargo of similar wrecked vessels that share a similar temporal space in the area will be necessary and vital to ascertain such qualities.

Much, but not all of the cargo was Chinese, the whole of which may help reflect a particular course of trade through the area. Planned testing of the metals excavated at the site will hopefully help promote the need for a complete database of metallurgical sources in the region, to help further understand the role that the Lena Shoal played in 15th Century Southeast Asian Maritime trade.


Brian Fahy


November 2011



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