East African Trading Port of Rhapta Flourishes (Great Events from History: The Ancient World, Prehistory-476)
Article abstract: Rhapta, an important trade town on the east African coast, flourished as an entrepôt for the commerce of the Indian Ocean through the construction of woven-plank boats for seagoing commerce.
Summary of Event
Rhapta is the name given to an important trade town that had become established by the closing century of the last millennium b.c.e. on the western Indian Ocean coast. The exact location of Rhapta is still unknown but it is believed to have emerged somewhere along the stretch of coast between the Tana River in Kenya and north-central Tanzania’s shore, perhaps in the vicinity of modern-day Dar es Salaam. Scholars have argued for Rhapta being located in the now-swampy coastal lands off the Tana River because of information contained in travel logs and the amount of time needed to sail between known points on the Somali Peninsula, such as Ras Hafun, down the coast to the unknown point of Rhapta. Scholars have also argued for Dar es Salaam as the site because it is an ideal natural harbor, protected by bays and allowing more readily for the Malgasy-Indonesian-Rhapta trade connection.
Rhapta fell off the map some time after the fourth century c.e. as it was outranked as an entrepôt of trade by other coastal towns, or shungwaya. Rhapta’s total decline and as-yet-undiscovered location lend credence to arguments for its existence in both the Tana swamplands and the more southern...
(The entire section is 1726 words.)
Show us the love and view this for free! Use the facebook like button, or any other share button on this page, and get this content free!free!
Want to Read More?
Subscribe now to read the rest of this article. Plus get complete access to 30,000+ study guides!