The Srijan Foundation organized a talk by Sanjeev Sanyal at the Jawahar Lal Nehru University. The topic of his talk was ‘The forgotten history of India’s Maritime Past’.

Having discussed the geography of Gujarat and the Saraswati river, Sanjeev here discusses trade and what he calls the Indo-Iranian continuum.

Sanjeev Sanyal:


Now, who were those chaps trading with?  We have very good evidence that they were trading, at least, with the following places because a lot of seals and Harappan goods have been found all along these areas. One of them is Oman, there are a lot of Harappan artifacts found scattered all over Iran, further inland in Bahrain, (and) across the straits in Iran.

In Eastern Iran, there is a newly discovered civilization called Jiroft civilization. We don’t know what they called themselves but the area is called Jiroft, so it’s called the Jiroft civilization. And, it’s quite possible that given where their location is, it is really far to the east of Iran and it is very very close to several Harappan sites that have been found in Baluchistan; that there may have been some cultural links with (the Harappans). And, not only cultural links but they may even have been probably same people who were passing back and forth across what I would call, the Indo-Iranian continuum.

And then, further out towards Mesopotamia, there were all these settlements going all the way up the Sumerian settlements. And, in many of them, seals and other Harappan artifacts have also been found. In fact, they have even found records of people called Meluha, who Sumerians claimed, have been trading with. Which sounds like that they were Indians! There were many indications that they were possibly the Harappans and there were even stories about some settlements of Harappan living there.

So the business of Indians living in the Middle East is not a new thing. We have been going to the Middle East for a long, long time and settling there. So that is kind of, how things were happily trundling along till something really bad happened.


Here’s the complete video:

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