Thursday 24 May 2012
Scientists of the National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) have found an Indo-Persian stone anchor off the Kutch coast in Gujarat that offers significant clues to the Indo-Arabic and Indo-Persian trade of the first and second century BC. It was found at a depth of more than 50 metres.
The find has been published in the May issue of the scientific journal Current Science.
Ancient stone anchors serve to understand maritime contacts of India with other parts of the world. Persians and Arabs sailed the Indian Ocean and used the type of anchors under study since the 9th century. Indo-Persian type stone anchors have been reported from the western Indian Ocean countries, namely east Africa, India, Persian Gulf countries and Sri Lanka, suggesting close maritime contacts and trade relations among these countries.
The ports in the Gulf of Kutch have contributed significantly to maritime trade since ancient times, and such trade was extensive between Gujarat and the Arab world even during the medieval period.
Sila Tripathi, a marine archaeologist at the NIO who studied the anchor, said more studies are needed to determine the exact source of the rock material. Tripathi said it was most likely of Indian origin.