Discovery has opened new chapter in understanding maritime trade of Indian Ocean countries, say historians...
A Tamil-Brahmi script inscribed on a potsherd, which was found at the Khor Rori area in Oman, has come to light now. The script reads “nantai kiran” and it can be dated to first century CE, that is, 1900 years before the present. The discovery in the ancient city of Sumhuram has opened a new chapter in understanding the maritime trade of the Indian Ocean countries, according to specialists in history.
It was by chance that the potsherd was sighted. Alexia Pavan, an Italian archaeologist, had displayed the potsherd during an international ceramic workshop on “The Indian Ocean Trade and the Archaeology of Technology at Pattanam in Kerala” held in September in Kochi. P.J. Cherian, Director, Kerala Council of Historical Research (KCHR), and Roberta Tomber of the British Museum, London, had jointly organised the workshop. Pottery from several Indian Ocean countries was on display during the workshop. K. Rajan, Professor, Department of History, Pondicherry University, D. Dayalan, Regional Director, Archaeological Survey of India, and V. Selvakumar, Head of the Department of Epigraphy and Archaeology, Tamil University, Thanjavur, spotted the potsherd displayed by Dr. Pavan.
Archaeology, because it studies humans over long timeframes, is able to provide a unique insight into how humans from Africa, Asia, and Australia have dealt with changing environments, encompassing long-term climate change as well as short-term events and natural disasters. Archaeology is also concerned with the conservation of cultural and heritage resources. The network will focus on threats to archaeological heritage across the whole region, especially in coastal and island communities affected by climate change.
We analyzed the genetic structure and relationships of house mouse (Mus musculus) populations in the remote Atlantic archipelago of the Azores using nuclear sequences and microsatellites. We typed Btk and Zfy2 to confirm that the subspecies Mus musculus domesticuswas the predominant genome in the archipelago. Nineteen microsatellite loci (one per autosome) were typed in a total of 380 individuals from all nine Azorean islands, the neighbouring Madeiran archipelago (Madeira and Porto Santo islands), and mainland Portugal. Levels of heterozygosity were high on the islands, arguing against population bottlenecking. The Azorean house mouse populations were differentiated from the Portuguese and Madeiran populations and no evidence of recent migration between the three was obtained. Within the Azores, the Eastern, Western, and Central island groups tended to act as separate genetic units for house mice, with some exceptions. In particular, there was evidence of recent migration events among islands of the Central island group, whose populations were relatively undifferentiated. Santa Maria had genetically distinctive mice, which may relate to its colonization history.
The long-distance movements made by humans through history are quickly erased by time but can be reconstructed by studying the genetic make-up of organisms that travelled with them. The phylogeography of the western house mouse (Mus musculus domesticus), whose current widespread distribution around the world has been caused directly by the movements of (primarily) European people, has proved particularly informative in a series of recent studies. The geographic distributions of genetic lineages in this commensal have been linked to the Iron Age movements within the Mediterranean region and Western Europe, the extensive maritime activities of the Vikings in the 9th to 11th centuries, and the colonisation of distant landmasses and islands by the Western European nations starting in the 15th century. We review here recent insights into human history based on phylogeographic studies of mice and other species that have travelled with humans, and discuss how emerging genomic methodologies will increase the precision of these inferences.
IBNLive After Ladakh incursions, China flexes its muscles in Indian Ocean IBNLive China's first aircraft carrier - the Liaoning - is expected to begin a long cruise this year and Indian Naval Intelligence says there are indications China is looking...
Donkeys are one of the least studied large domestic animals, even though they are economically important in many regions of the world. They are predominantly used as transport animals. Consequently, they are not kept in large numbers and this limits the number of archaeological specimens available for study. The donkey’s closest relative is the African wild ass, and genetic studies and zooarchaeological analyses of early donkeys indicate domestication of two genetically separate groups of wild asses in Africa. Maternal relationships revealed by mitochondrial DNA show that one group of donkeys was derived from the Nubian wild ass and that one was derived from an unknown ancestor distinct from the Somali wild ass.
19 water samples were collected aboard the Sorcerer II sailing vessel from the southern Indian Ocean in an effort to more thoroughly understand the lifestyle strategies of the microbial inhabitants of this ultra-oligotrophic region
The Indian Ocean World Centre (IOWC) at McGill University is a research initiative and resource base established to promote the study of the history, economy and cultures of the lands and peoples of the Indian Ocean World (IOW) - from China to Southeast and South Asia, the Middle East and Africa.
This macro-region witnessed the early emergence of major centres of production and a monsoon-based system of trans-oceanic trade that led to the emergence by at least the tenth century of a sophisticated and durable system of long-distance exchange of commodities, monies, technology, ideas and people. The IOW was thus home to the first 'global' economy, one that dominated the macro-region until at least the mid eighteenth century – some would argue the nineteenth century, and which is again resurgent. Today the IOW comprises 50% of the planet's population and is forecast to become the leading world economy by 2020.
This blog provides a forum for presenting and discussing the latest findings relating to the ancient Indian Ocean, from archaeology, molecular genetics, historical linguistics and other disciplines. It takes a long-term view of the Indian Ocean region, exploring the processes that shaped its cultures, societies and environments from the Pleistocene to the historical period.
Among all livestock species, cattle have a prominent status as they have contributed greatly to the economy, nutrition and culture from the beginning of farming societies until the present time. The origins and diversity of local cattle breeds have been widely assessed. However, there are still some regions for which very little of their local genetic resources is known. The present work aimed to estimate the genetic diversity and the origins of Omani cattle. Located in the south-eastern corner of the Arabian Peninsula, close to the Near East, East Africa and the Indian subcontinent, the Sultanate of Oman occupies a key position, which may enable understanding cattle dispersal around the Indian Ocean. To disclose the origin of this cattle population, we used a set of 11 polymorphic microsatellites and 113 samples representing the European, African and Indian ancestry to compare with cattle from Oman. This study found a very heterogenic population with a markedly Bos indicus ancestry and with some degree of admixture...
This paper focus on the Holocene palaeogeography of the Ja'alan coast from the 6th to the 4th millennium cal. BC, integrating the dynamics of mangroves, lagoons, khors-estuaries and deltas, with sea-level change and the evidence from Neolithic shell middens. The distribution and maturation of mangrove ecosystems along the Arabian coasts has varied considerably, affected by physical forces such as sea-level changes, climate, tidal amplitude and duration as well as the quantity of fresh water inflow associated with the monsoon systems along the Arabian coast. Palaeo-mangroves and lagoons, today replaced by large sabkhas, appear to be correlated to mid-Holocene fossil deltas and estuaries that currently function episodically, depending on the rhythm of winter rains. All these parameters have determined and impacted the location of settlement networks and the economic strategies of the first Arabian farmers along the eastern Arabian coast. The mid-Holocene sea-level highstand stability (5th millennium BC) can be considered to be an optimum period for mangrove development and can be correlated with Neolithic sites around the mangroves. The decline of mangroves since 3000/2500 cal. BC and further degradation is mainly attributed to the prevailing arid climate that reduced summer monsoon effects in the tropical area by favouring the extension of sabkhas. We discuss these aspects based on new archaeological surveys, excavations and geoarchaeological studies.
'More studies needed at Pattanam' The Hindu The eminent historian says that several myths exist regarding the State's history that can only be busted through detailed studies. An example he gives is that of the ports of Pattanam and Muziris.
India: Turmeric trade awaits monsoon for price rises FreshPlaza India: Turmeric trade awaits monsoon for price rises. Turmeric traders are pinning their hopes on the onset of monsoon that is likely to result in more orders and push up prices.
The Maldives are an 850 km-long string of atolls located centrally in the northern Indian Ocean basin. Because of this geographic situation, the present-day Maldivian population has potential for uncovering genetic signatures of historic migration events in the region. We therefore studied autosomal DNA-, mitochondrial DNA-, and Y-chromosomal DNA markers in a representative sample of 141 unrelated Maldivians, with 119 from six major settlements. We found a total of 63 different mtDNA haplotypes that could be allocated to 29 mtDNA haplogroups, mostly within the M, R, and U clades. We found 66 different Y-STR haplotypes in 10 Y-chromosome haplogroups, predominantly H1, J2, L, R1a1a, and R2. Parental admixture analysis for mtDNA- and Y-haplogroup data indicates a strong genetic link between the Maldive Islands and mainland South Asia, and excludes significant gene flow from Southeast Asia. Paternal admixture from West Asia is detected, but cannot be distinguished from admixture from South Asia. Maternal admixture from West Asia is excluded. Within the Maldives, we find a subtle genetic substructure in all marker systems that is not directly related to geographic distance or linguistic dialect. We found reduced Y-STR diversity and reduced male-mediated gene flow between atolls, suggesting independent male founder effects for each atoll. Detected reduced female-mediated gene flow between atolls confirms a Maldives-specific history of matrilocality. In conclusion, our new genetic data agree with the commonly reported Maldivian ancestry in South Asia, but furthermore suggest multiple, independent immigration events and asymmetrical migration of females and males across the archipelago. Am J Phys Anthropol 151:58–67, 2013
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