Eight Thousand Years of Maltese Maritime History
Trade, Piracy, and Naval Warfare in the Central Mediterranean
Ayse Devrim AtauzForeword by James C. Bradford and Gene A. Smith, Series Editors
For millennia, Malta has always been considered a site of strategic importance. From the arrival of the Phoenicians through rule under Carthage, Rome, Sicilian Arabs, Normans, and Genovese, to the Order of St. John ("Knights of Malta"), the advent of the Napoleonic Wars, and even World Wars I and II, the Maltese islands have served as re-provisioning stations, military bases, and refuges for pirates and privateers.
Building on her systematic underwater archaeological survey of the Maltese archipelago, Ayse Atauz presents a sweeping, groundbreaking, interdisciplinary approach to maritime history in the Mediterranean. Offering a general overview of essential facts, including geographical and oceanographic factors that would have affected the navigation of historic ships, major relevant historical texts and documents, the logistical possibilities of ancient ship design, a detailed study of sea currents and wind patterns, and especially the archaeological remains (or scarcity thereof) around the Maltese maritime perimeter, she builds a convincing argument that Malta mattered far less in maritime history than has been previously asserted.
Atauz's conclusions are of great importance to the history of Malta and of the Mediterranean in general, and her archaeological discoveries about ships are a major contribution to the history of shipbuilding and naval architecture.
Ayse Devrim Atauz is the chief archaeologist for ProMare, a non-profit, marine research organization dedicated to underwater exploration the world over. She holds degrees from universities in Turkey and the United States.
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"A significant contribution to maritime history and of special interest to students of nautical archaeology."
"A useful overview of the sea-related history of a tiny archipelago which seems to have had a projection beyond its shores out of proportion to its size."
--Internaional Journal of Maritime History
"The first maritime work which features a good database of maritime events for a small island nation at the centre of the Mediterranean."
--The Northern Mariner
Combining archaeological, oceanographic, cultural, social, military and political aspects, the author gives a detailed and exciting overview of the history of Malta and its surrounding islands. A refreshing and informative overview of the history of one of the most important centres of the maritime universe.
--Ships and Shipping