You have surely heard of Christopher Columbus and Marco Polo. Did you know that long before their ships set sail other explorers and traders from civilizations across the globe had been interacting with one another for thousands of years?
The Indian Ocean stretches in a giant arc from east Africa to Arabia, India, Southeast Asia, and Australia. From prehistoric times on, people living around the shores of the Indian Ocean migrated, gathered the wealth of the sea's resources, built seafaring ships, made and grew things to use and to trade with others near and far. People of many religions mingled together, speaking many languages and practicing different customs side-by-side, but bridging their differences to exchange goods and ideas with each other over long and short distances.
To bring this exciting story to life, the Sultan Qaboos Cultural Center (SQCC) sponsored the research and development of this website. Explore the maps showing what happened in each of the seven long periods of human history called Eras. On each map, locate different symbols, or icons that represent travelers, artifacts, places and natural landforms that were important during that time. By clicking on each icon, you can learn about the people, places and things that were important to the history of the world. As you explore this website, SQCC invites you to discover a region that is definitely worth getting to know.
The Indian Ocean in World History website is a collection of primary sources on the Indian Ocean organized by world historical eras. The site features a series of maps that represent each of the following periods, or eras of world history:
Each historical era contains information on resources that are classified into eight categories, with every category represented by icons, or pictographs, placed on the map. The categories are places, routes, travelers, objects, trade goods, documents, technologies, and geography. Clicking on an icon opens up a brief, illustrated text and images describing the historical use and importance of the resource. Skill lessons provide a set of questions to ask to help you explore the historical sources represented by each symbol on the map. A set of graphic organizers can be downloaded to help you take notes as you explore the Indian Ocean through time.
A collection of lesson plans and note-taking sheets (graphic organizers) for each era is provided, suggesting ways to interact with the web site for individual, small group and whole class engagement. Whichever era or method chosen, students will benefit from familiarizing themselves with the icons that appear on each map and completing the skills lessons for each type of resource represented by the icons.
To learn even more about the Indian Ocean, take a look at our bibliography and visit the additional links provided. Welcome to our website! We hope you enjoy your exploration of the Indian Ocean region!