Clues to India, Rome Sea Trade Found

The discovery of artifacts, including Roman amphora pottery and jewelry, by archaeologists working on the coast of southwest India seem to provide a missing link to the ancient sea trade believed to have existed between the civilizations of Rome and India.

The clues point to the location of the ancient Indian port city of Muziris. Researchers now believe the ancient port may have been near the small, modern-day town of Pattanam.

The port was likely the point for transfer of spices, particularly black pepper, from India in exchange for wine, oils, glass, and jewelry from Rome.

One of the first clues to the location of the ancient port of Muziris was the 1983 discovery of a cache of Roman coins near the modern site of Pattanam.

Amphoras, a term that I am embarrassed to not have been familiar with prior to reading the BBC story, were two-handled pottery vessels used by the ancient Greeks and Romans to transport wine and oils.

Source: BBC
Photo: Example - Late Greek amphora (public domain)