Winds of Change: Megadroughts, Ming Gap and Maritime Trade

Co-Author: Wesa Pertola, Doctoral Researcher, University of Helsinki/Archeology

Between the mid-14th and the early 15th centuries Angkor suffered two periods of extended drought, which played a part in the collapse and almost total abandonment of the Khmer capital. Around the same time there is a significant drop in Chinese ceramics exports – i.e. the Ming Gap – and the ceramics trade gets restructured on a Southeast Asian level. In my study I use the LME wind data and sailing simulations to investigate if the changing monsoons would have also disrupted the typical trade wind patterns of the region.