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Literary Review:Ports of the Ancient Indian Ocean

The book dives into past and present finds regarding the importance of the ports between the Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean Societies

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Madras Port in 1996. Image Source: Wikipedia.org

 

  • The Red Sea was used as a trade route from 3rd century B.C. to 6th century C.E.
  • The trades that happened were not strictly goods, but knowledge and ideas as well
  • Researchers are constantly finding new information on life during this period

‘Ports of the Ancient Indian Ocean’ edited by ed Marie-Francoise Boousasac, Jean Francois Salles and Jean-Baptiste Yon, dives into the important role that ports played. Their importance is established by the fact that their function went beyond sending and receiving goods. Information was spread through the ports between the Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean Societies. The sources of reference range from the Greek Periplus to the 16th century Portuguese and the French in the colonial period.

The Red Sea was a trade route from 3rd century B.C to roughly 6th Century C.E. The ports studied here offer much information about life during this time period.

The first chapter introduces readers to recent discoveries that were found during excavations of the Red Sea ports. These discoveries further credited the previously known facts.

Rightfully so, this first chapter does an excellent job of setting the tone for the new information that has been discovered.

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The second chapter goes deep into findings regarding storage facilities which were shipment requirements. It also discusses ship-related equipment, such as old oar blades. Recent geographical finds have proved that there was a navigable lagoon at Gawasis in ancient times.

Ports of the Ancient Indian Ocean. Wikimedia Commons.
Ports of the Ancient Indian Ocean. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons.

According to an article in The Hindu,‘Living in the Egyptian Ports’ is a chapter that discusses ports that were important to the early Roman period. It also describes what life at the ports was like. Limitations in these harbors were found during an excavation done by The University of Southhampton in 1999-2003; this chapter confirms these finds.

The part of the book dealing with the inscriptions of the Hoc cave in Socotra are said to be of high interest to Indian readers. In 2001, discoveries were made, which claimed that over 100 Indian inscriptions were made with charcoal, chalk, or mud were scratched into the surfaces of the rocks. These inscriptions were written in Brahmi and appears to be similar to inscriptions of the 2nd to 4th Century C.E. of West India. Newly discovered inscriptions validate these later findings. The new findings mention the city of Bharukaccha, which was one of the most significant ports at the point in time.

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The chapter on Emmanuelle Vagnon’s Latin Cartographic sources of 1200-1500 C.E., is also quite intriguing. Looking at the changes that cartography has undergone since the 1990s, the author points the readers to consider something else. She comments on medieval nautical charts and references of Fra Mauro’s mappaemundi and Ptolemy’s Geography.

Gaur and Sundaresh add to already known information regarding the ancient technology of jetties and and anchorage system on the Saurashtra Coast. Since Satyabhama Badreenath, has been a superintendent archaeologist on site in Chennai, he discusses the revelations that were found after the tsunami in 2004.

This book is abundant in knowledge and is said to be a gem to university libraries and research centres.

Abigail Andrea is an intern at NewsGram. Twitter @abby_kono

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  • Aparna Gupta

    This is really an evidence of our rich history between ports of ancient India and Mediterranean societies.

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6 DIY Home Decor Ideas and Tips for Indian Homes

Here are some simple ideas for home decoration

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DIY ideas
Here are some easy-to-follow DIY home decor ideas. Pixabay

Are you looking to decorate your house on a budget? Or you simply want a touch of your personality and talent in your home? Well, whatever the reason maybe, here are 6 do-it-yourself (DIY) home décor ideas for your home:

Make a garden in your living room

Many of us love gardening but have no space for it so we keep potted plants in our balconies. But if you think about modern living room ideas for your home, you could have your own garden on your living room wall! You can create a green wall by placing a few wooden slabs of different lengths to create a pattern and place your potted plants on those slabs. Now, it won’t be just your TV up on the wall. 

Recycle your glass bottles and jars into vases and bulbs

Lighting ideas
Lighting your house can make it look better. Pixabay

Take any unused glass bottles (any colour) and paint them. Fill them with water and place flowers in them to make vases. You could also use the bottles as bulbs by placing fairy lights in them and hanging them from your walls or placing them on your tables. This will add some coloured lighting to your florescent lighting. 

Make a vision board

Take some excess or unused fabric you have and cover it on a wooden board. You have the option to add cotton on the board to make it like a bulletin board. Then print pictures, quotes, or any ‘visions’ of your future goals and stick them on this board. Hang this vision board in your room to remind yourself of your goals every day. 

Light up your house

If you have any unused paper cups from a previous get together, string them together and place LED lights inside to make a garland of paper cups and hang them in your house. Another way to light up your home would be to place candles inside mason jars. You could decorate the jar with lace, yarn, ribbon, cloth, etc. You could also decorate the candles with henna (mehndi). These also work great as Diwali decoration ideas

Mural ideas
Making a mural is one of the best home decor ideas. Lifetime Stock

Make a floating bookshelf

Take panels of wood or metal and drill them to the corner of a wall in asymmetrical fashion. Ensure you have at least 4 or more slabs for enhanced effect. Once completed, it will look like they are floating on the wall. Then you can place your books on the slabs to complete your bookshelf.

Make a mural

A mural is a form of art directly painted or applied on a wall. If you don’t see yourself as a great artist, you could invite a friend over and paint a wall in your house with things that inspire you or come up with a theme that will add to the décor of your home. 

Also Read- Here’s how You Can Become Responsible Parents of Pets

Decorating your home does not have to be an expensive affair. You could make your home beautiful with simple DIY home décor ideas, and simultaneously save money on decorating.