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Klein, Rudiger (1994) Trade in the Safavid Port City Bandar Abbas and the Persian Gulf Area (ca.1600-1680): A Study of Selected Aspects. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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This dissertation presents and discusses some results of archival research into aspects of intra- and interregional trade in the Persian Gulf Area during the XVIIth century. It illustrates movements of selected non-luxury goods and explores the ways in which the regional network of port cities (and the connecting caravan trade) functioned on a variety of levels, such as distribution of goods and price formation. In this context individual operations and strategies of some merchants and merchant groups are traced. The study is informed by the conviction that the workings of pre-modern Persian Gulf trade can best be captured by an approach which focuses on commercial regions as sustained by a network of trading places irrespective of their political allegiance, whether Safavid, Ottoman, Afrasiyab or Yacariba. Models developed by economic anthropologists and social geographers to describe the spatial dimension of exchange systems underlie the analysis and are presented in the General Introduction. A survey of the development of interregional trade patterns in the Persian Gulf Area (Ch.1) is followed by a sketch of the political processes which shaped the institutional framework for trade and comments on the relationship of merchants and state officials (Ch.2). Among the area's exports (Part 1), the horse trade is discussed as an example of highly regulated administered exchange (Ch.3). Conversely, the bulk trade of foodstuffs (dates, wheat) was completely open to commercial enterprise (Ch.4). Part 2 on imports is introduced by a presentation of wholesale price lists for widely traded Asian goods (spices, dyestuffs, metals). An excursus discusses problems inherent in the study of consumption and retail patterns in the pre-modern Persian Gulf Area. Imports of Indian textiles (Ch.5) and foodstuffs (rice, sugar; Ch.6) are described as (also) targeting mass markets. The reaction of local crafts and industries is commented upon, as is the position of the Persian Gulf Area in wider Indian Ocean circuits of exchange.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2020 17:32

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