This panel aims to reconstructing the nature and form of the Empires on sea and on land in the Indian Ocean, and the natural and cultural landscapes where they were situated.
An ecotone is a transitional area between two or more distinct ecological communities, like for example the zone between field and forest, mountain and ocean, or between sea and land. The two ecosystems may be separated by sharp boundaries lines or may merge gradually. An ecotone may also indicate a place where two communities meet, at times creolizing or germinating into a new community. Inside this panel, we'll borrow this term traditionally used in environmental studies and geography, and try to applying it to this research area. Consequently, ecotones seek to continue exploring the complex chemistry of creolizing worlds, the contact zones between cultures in contexts such as migration, diaspora, maritime movements and other displacements among major historical and political events. More specifically, this panel aims to reconstruct the nature, pattern, and intensity of resource use at different periods in the past; the environmental contexts, impacts and sustainability of these different strategies of resource use; the nature and form of the Empires on sea and on land, and the natural and cultural landscapes where they were situated; the mechanisms and technologies of trade and maritime activity; and the nature of settlement activities outside of the towns. There is further scope: developing some of the ideas of historians concerning the manner in which interaction between land and sea has fashioned the histories of many societies and civilizations, and on the significance of trans-oceanic links between these maritime societies.