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Water by India International Centre India International India International Centre

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6

PRE-PORTUGUESE MARITIME CRAFTS OF INDIA: THE ETHNOLOGICAL EVIDENCE

Lotika Varadarajan

There is ample evidence of cultural and trade contacts between South Asia and the Roman Empire. Both the overland and maritime channels played a role in the patterns of communication and distribution. Although Roman trade fuelled bullion into South Asia, it was in no way a unique intervention in the trans-Afro-Asian sphere of trade. Trade links with them had existed since circa 518 BC when the Achaemenid emperor Darius had established his borders in Northwest India. By the eleventh century AD, Arab trade replaced the earlier linkages, which had intermingled with Buddhist pilgrim routes. Beneath the religious façade of Buddhism and Islam, there existed a continuous ...

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