Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Ancient Trade: South Indians in Egypt
My initial response after reading this story was - well, of course - but why wouldn't the researchers have assumed that such was going on almost from the beginning of this cross-ocean contact/trade? People act like people, for Goddess' sake! We move around, we're always on to the next 'big adventure' - whatever that may be, we like to bond and usually will, after initial hesitations and cultural misunderstandings are got past -- in short, meeting and mixing is the herstory of humankind! It's human nature to act so.
So why should it be a surprise that sailors and traders from South India moved into ancient Egypt after travelling there and back who knows how many times and left evidence of their residency behind? Why wouldn't a researcher assume that the Egyptians and Romans hired or otherwise obtained the services of Indian navigators and sailors, who were experienced in the ways of navigating using the Monsoons?
Thank goodness it was bone dry Egypt where the trade and cross-cultural settlements took place because some evidence of the residency of the South Indian peoples and that trade survived there, else those same experts would probably be claiming that no such cross-cultural trade, visitations and settlement ever took place. Rather reminds me of how experts have pooh-poohed Gavin Menzies' theory that 15th century naval power China traveled around the world and left calling cards (people and settlements) years before the Europeans dreamed of doing so (and just where did the Europeans get those maps anyway???)
Volume 27 - Issue 08 :: Apr. 10-23, 2010
INDIA'S NATIONAL MAGAZINE
from the publishers of THE HINDU
South Indians in Roman Egypt?