Team 3 - East Asian Mediterranean

This team will research general themes with regard to the ‘East Asian Mediterranean’ focusing on three aspects of human-environment interaction: (i) East Asian nation states or 'territorial' areas versus the East Asian world, (ii) the nature of exchange relations in the Asian world with a particular emphasis on the roles played by the official Chinese state and private Chinese and foreign merchants trading in the East Asian world, and (iii) the extent of military/political or religious influence on the development of early maritime trade.

Latest Team Publications

2014 Akifumi Iwabuchi, "Stone Tidal Weirs, Underwater Cultural Heritage or Not?", Proc. of the 2nd Asia-Pacific Regional Conference on Underwater Cultural Heritage, vol. 2: 735-746.

2014 Kimura Jun et al. “Naval Battlefield Archaeology of the Lost Kublai Khan Fleets”, The International Journal of Nautical Archaeology 43.1, 76-86.

2014 Tansen Sen (Ed.). Buddhism Across Asia: Networks of Material, Intellectual and Cultural Exchange, Vol. 1. Singapore and Delhi: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies and Manohar Publishers.

2014 Angela Schottenhammer (ed.), Tribute, Trade and Smuggling / Tributo, Comercio y Contrabando. East Asian Maritime History 12. Wiesbaden: Harrasowitz Verlag, 364 pp. [cover | table of contents]

See more of Team 3's publications...

Crossroads - Studies on the History of Exchange Relations in the East Asian World (縱 横 - 東亞世界交流史研究/クロスロード - 東アジア世界の交流史研究 / 크로스로드 - 東아시아 世界의 交流史 研究)

Chief Editor: Angela Schottenhammer

This online journal is designed as an international forum for contributions related to the history of exchange relations in the East Asian world.

China and the Maritime World, 500 BC to 1900[1800]: A Handbook of Chinese Sources on Maritime History

Edited by Angela Schottenhammer, Tansen Sen and Geoffrey Wade

In 2011, the University of Malaya Press published a revised edition of Wolfgang Franke’s (Fu Wukang 傅吾康, 1912–2007) famous, An Introduction to the Sources of Ming History (Kuala Lumpur: University of Malaya Press, 1968) entitled, Annotated Sources of Ming History: Including Southern Ming and Works on Neighbouring Lands 1368–1661 (2 vols.), revised and enlarged by Liew-Herres Foon Ming, an established Ming specialist known for her excellent work on the military chapters in the official Ming annals. Annotated Sources of Ming History has been an indispensable tool for everybody working on Ming history, including China's relations with foreign countries and neither students nor specialists want to miss it.

Inspired by Franke’s work, China and the Maritime World, 500 BC to 1900[1800]: A Handbook of Chinese Sources on Maritime History aims to provide historians of China and Asia, as well as world historians in general who may not possess Chinese language skills, with an overview of Chinese sources on maritime Asia. This is the reason why we decided to organize the project according to a geographical/regional categorization, providing the reader with information on sources and an English summary/description of the source, including links to other useful websites related to the Asian maritime world such as the wonderful, open-access resource Southeast Asia in the Ming Shi-lu by Geoffrey Wade.

This online version China and the Maritime World is also planned as an open-access resource and constitutes an ongoing work-in-progress. A selection of most important sources will later be published as a handbook.

Team News

  • Presentation by Angela Schottenhammer, Discussion of the Historical Background of Yang Liangyao's Mission in 785 to the Abbasids, at the China Maritime Museum August 25, 2015 (Event Poster), and at the National Library of China September 2, 2015. 
  • Conference, “Beyond the Silk Road: Asian Maritime History and Culture, Shanghai (in cooperation with the China National Maritime Museum and the IOWC) August 19-22, 2015 (Event Poster). 
  • An International Workshop entitled Recovery of Traditional Technologies I: A Comparative Study of Past and Present Fermentation and Associated Distillation Technologies in Eurasia and Their Roots was held at the University of Salzburg, Austria, 11-13 May 2015. (Programme)
  • A report on the conference L'influence de la mer dans l'Histoire, voyage au coeur de l'Antiquité et du Moyen Age, held in Paris, France, 11-12 December 2014. (Report | Programme)
  • The Cambridge of History, Vol. 5.2: Sung China, 960-1279 (edited by John W. Chaffee and Denis Twitchett) has been published, featuring contributions by Angela Schottenhammer. (Cover | Table of Contents)


Angela Schottenhammer, University of Salzburg

Dr. Angela Schottenhammer is a Professor of Non-European and World History in the History Department at the University of Salzburg, Austria. She has also been a Professor of Pre–modern Chinese History at Ghent University, a Professor of Pre–modern Chinese History at the Centre of Asian and African Studies (CEAA), El Colegio de México, México; an unscheduled Professor of Chinese Studies at the Department for Asian Studies, Ludwig Maximilians University, Germany; and a Professor (Lehrstuhlvertretung) of Chinese History at the Sinological Department, Marburg University, Germany. Additionally, she has taught at Würzburg, Leiden, Hamburg, Munich, Marburg, México and Ghent.

Professor Schottenhammer was the Project Supervisor of "The East Asian Mediterranean, c. 1500–1850," an international research project sponsored by the VW–Foundation (05/2002–07/2009) (EAMH), and is currently establishing an internationally operating Research Centre on Exchange Relations in the East Asian World. The geographical focus of the Centre's research will be the East China Sea bordered by the three countries China, Japan and Korea, but it will also go beyond, reaching out to Southeast Asia as well as to Central Asia and Russia (notably encompassing the regions along the former "Silk Road"). This project is aimed at exploring both continental and maritime "silk routes" in the macro region of East Asia in their historical dimensions, focusing on the interconnectedness of the various regions along these two "silk routes" and investigating a wide range of sources, from linguistic evidence and archaeological findings to texts, documents and pictorial material.



Akifumi Iwabuchi, Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology

Dr. Iwabuchi is the Professor of Marine Culturology at the Tokyo University of Marine Science & Technology (National University Corporation). He obtained his MA from the University of Tokyo in 1985 and received his PhD from the University of Oxford in 1990. Some of his recent publications include: "Mud-Sledge Culture around the China Sea: A New Perspective on Marine Culturology." International Academic Essays on Marine Culture 2009: 5-12. Kaohsiung: Marine Technological Institute. "Disappearing Traditional Gears: From Sustainable Fishing to Heavy Exploitation in Southern Vietnam." Proceedings of the 5th Mare Conference, "People & the Sea V." University of Amsterdam.

Tansen Sen, University of New York

Tansen Sen is Associate Professor of Asian history and religions at Baruch College, The City University of New York. Currently he is visiting senior research fellow at the Nalanda-Sriwijaya Centre, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore. He received his MA from Peking University and Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. He has special scholarly interests in Buddhism, Sino-Indian relations, Indian Ocean trade, and Silk Road archeology. He has done extensive research in India, China, and Japan with grants from the American Institute of Indian Studies, the Japan Foundation, the American Philosophical Society, Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

He is the author of Buddhism, Diplomacy, and Trade: The Realignment of Sino-Indian Relations, 600-1400 (University of Hawai’i Press, 2003). He has co-edited China at the Crossroads: A Festschrift in Honor of Professor Victor H. Mair (special volume of Asia Major, vol. 19, issues 1-2, 2006) and guest edited a special issue of China Report (December 2007) on the connections between Kolkata (India) and China. He is currently working on a monograph that examines cross-cultural trade in Asia during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, a collaborative project on the Southern Silk Road, and creating a Web site to archive the history and experiences of the Chinese community in India.

Geoffrey Wade, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore

Geoff Wade is an historian with interests in Sino-Southeast Asian historical interactions and comparative historiography. Currently a Senior Research Fellow in the Nalanda-Sriwijaya Centre, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore, he was formerly engaged with the Southeast Asia-China Interactions cluster of the Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore (2002–09) and, before that, with the China-ASEAN Project at the Centre of Asian Studies, University of Hong Kong (1996–2002). His online database, Southeast Asia in the Ming Shi-lu: An Open Access Resource, provides in English translation 3,000+ references to Southeast Asia as extracted from the Ming imperial annals, while his most recent edited work China and Southeast Asia (Routledge 2009) comprises a six-volume survey of seminal works on Southeast Asia-China interactions over time. His most recent work examined Islamic networks across the Indian Ocean to 1500.



Jun Kimura, Tokai University

Dr. Jun Kimura is a Junior Associate Professor at the Department of Maritime Civilizations of the School of Marine Science and Technology of Tokai University. He is a maritime archaeologist with research interests in Asian maritime archaeology. His expertise includes East Asian shipbuilding traditions based on the study of wreck sites in Asian countries. He has worked on archaeological sites of the 13th-century Kublai Khan’s lost fleets in Vietnam (; see also and in Japan as well. He is a member of the National Advisory Committee for underwater cultural heritage in Japan and engaged in the management of historical underwater sites.

Mathieu Torck, Ghent University

Mathieu Torck, PhD (2006), teaches and assists with research in the Department of Chinese Language and Culture at Ghent University. He deals with research themes within the discipline of social anthropology, combining perspectives from areas such as maritime, military, medical and nutritional history from Song through Qing times. He has written an extensive study on the history of scurvy in East Asia (Avoiding the Dire Straits) and recently finished a book with Ann Heirman on material culture in the Buddhist monasteries of India and China (A Pure Mind in a Clean Body). He is particularly interested in the cross-cultural transfer of technical and scientific knowledge in East Asia and beyond, and also looks at developments and changes in material culture over a wider area. He is currently investigating the occurrence of epidemic outbreaks in China and their interconnection with climatic change from Song through Qing times. Furthermore, he aims at highlighting human interaction with epidemics and the emergence and development of specific medical knowledge that resulted from this encounter. Such themes as the significance of military medicine and the impact of military supplying on the environment will be assessed.



Guang Ma, Ghent University

Ma Guang is a PhD student in the Faculty of Arts and Philosophy at Ghent University. He received his MA degree in Chinese History from the University of Macau, where he focused on the opium trade and smuggling in South China in the Late Qing Dynasty. He has published several papers on the history of the opium trade and smuggling, Chinese imperials maritime customs, and Macau’s industry in the Late Qing Dynasty. He is currently focusing on the history of maritime commerce and naval activities in Northeast Asia during the Yuan-Ming rupture by studying official documents, local gazetteers, private writings, archaeological evidence and other historical materials, especially in China, Korea and Japan (see also

Elke Papelitzky, University of Salzburg

Elke Papelitzky received a Master's degree in Japanese and Chinese studies at Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich. Her studies included cartography, archaeology and intercultural relations, especially concerning the influence on early modern science in China and Japan. She is now a PhD student at the University of Salzburg and is researching navigational texts of the Ming dynasty, comparing textual and archaeological evidence as well as environmental data in order to identify maritime travel routes in East and Southeast Asia.

Wim De Winter, Ghent University

Wim De Winter has an MA in History (greatest distinction) from Ghent University, where he focused on Japanese-European exchange relations as performative elements of "intercultural connections" in the seventeenth century. He is now working towards a PhD by comparatively expanding this research into an Indian Ocean framework. His broader research interests include connected histories, methodologies of historical anthropology, and the cultural histories of Japan and North India.