O L D C U R R E N C Y, M O N S O O N T R A D E A N D T H E M A L D I V E S – TAASA Review December 2016


This article was originally found in the December 2016 edition of TAASA Review (Volume 25, Issue 4, Page 19).

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Mirani Litster Monetaria moneta from the Nilandhoo Foahmathi archaeological site.

Photo: Mirani Litster, Courtesy Kon-Tiki Museum Collection `The native products [of the Maldives] are coconut ropes, [cowry] shells, dried fish, and large cotton kerchiefs.

Every sea-trader who takes one shipload of cowries to Wu-tieh and Bengal, is sure to exchange it for a shipload of rice or more [there], for these people use cowries as money, and a very old style of currency it is.’ Wang Ta-Yuan, Tao-I chih-lueh, 14th century (Shastri 1939:292­3) F rom 2009­2012 archaeologists at the Australian National University undertook an Australian Research Council funded project titled Crossing the Green Sea that aimed to investigate the prehistory of the remote Indian Ocean islands...