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Ancient Maritime (Shipping & Navigation) History of Human Civilizations


Ancient history of shipping, trading on oceans date back to many years and evidence of trade between civilizations dates back at least two millennia are found.


Indians and Chinese have the oldest known history of shipping and during 3rd millennium BCE inhabitants of the Indus Valley initiated maritime trading contact with Mesopotamia.


After the Roman annexation of Egypt, roman trade with India increased.


Even in Puranas and Vedas, ships are mentioned. During Krishna’s regime in Dwaraka (more than 5000 years ago), maritime trading between india and mesopotamia existed. Silk and other commodities were traded.


Greeks were known to have travelled to India through searoute. Indians were present in Alexandria while Christian and Jew settlers from Rome continued to live in India long after the fall of the Roman empire, which resulted in Rome’s loss of the Red Sea ports, previously used to secure trade with India by the Greco-Roman world since the Ptolemaic dynasty.

The Indian commercial connection with South East Asia proved vital to the merchants of Arabia and Persia during the 7th–8th century.

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