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Did Egyptians know Indians before the Achaemenid period?

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  Quote Cyrus Shahmiri Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Did Egyptians know Indians before the Achaemenid period?
    Posted: 29-Mar-2005 at 10:30

One of the greatest and largest Achaemenid statues is the statue of Darius the Great which was built by Egyptians, as the hieroglyphic inscription of this statue says: "This is the statue, made of stone, which Darius ordered to be made in Egypt. This is how everyone who will see this in the future, will know that the Persian man ruled in Egypt."

There are 24 frames at the base of this statue, symbolizing the 24 nations under Iran's rule.

The interesting thing for me is that most of nations have different names in Egyptian and Persian languages but one of exceptions is Indian (HNDo/Hindu):

Is it possible that Egyptians didn't know Indians before building this statue?

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  Quote Tobodai Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Mar-2005 at 20:05
they knew, they had acess to the Red sea which leads to the Indian ocean, Indian ocean trade is one of the oldest and most pervasive of all trades in the world.  If not direct knowledge than at least material contact.
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  Quote Sharrukin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Apr-2005 at 03:50
There seems to be a lack of inscriptional sources to describe Egyptian awareness of India prior to the Persian Period.  There is evidence of ancient Egyptian trade along the east African coast and perhaps Arabia as well as the Levant, and even some knowledge of interior southern Africa, but nothing further.  Virtually all evidence of trade is Hellenistic and afterward.  The potential of a knowledge was there.  According to Herodotus, the Egyptian king Necho, just prior to the Persian conquest, was sending ships around Africa, (Book 4.42). and so such long-range voyages would thus have been quite possible.  The problem is that we don't have any inscriptional or material evidence prior to the Hellenistic Period.  The Egyptian name for India was a direct borrowing from the Persian word, and would seem to suggest that the Egyptians simply did not bother exploring the lands beyond Arabia. 
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  Quote Jazz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Apr-2005 at 05:08
Originally posted by Tobodai

they knew, they had acess to the Red sea which leads to the Indian ocean, Indian ocean trade is one of the oldest and most pervasive of all trades in the world.  If not direct knowledge than at least material contact.
Ok, I've read that when Alexander turned back from India and went down to the mouth of the Indus, they were surprised to find that it did not flow into the Nile (as sources then indicated that it did) and instead emptied into an ocean.   Basically he was credited for expanding the limits of the "known-world" They (at least the Greeks) did not know they were 2 different river systems - not sure if this knowledge was known to the Egyptians or not.

But then again, the way history has been tought here, I would not be surprised if when the known-world was being reffered to that they only meant the Greeks (as per usual Western bias)


Edited by Jazz
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  Quote Sharrukin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Apr-2005 at 00:28
Greek knowledge of India came from the Persian Empire.  The Greek name for India, the very name India, itself, like the Egyptian name, also came from the Persian word, which was Hindush
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  Quote Berosus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Apr-2005 at 06:29
Trade between India and Mesopotamia, interrupted when the Indus valley civilization fell, was re-established around 825 B.C.  Therefore I would expect the Egyptians to hear about India, during the brief period when Egypt was under Assyrian rule (671-652 B.C.), if not earlier.
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  Quote Sharrukin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Apr-2005 at 00:31

Unless the Assyrians kept that knowledge to themselves, and for good reason.  Remember that the Assyrian conquest of Egypt resulted in the retreat of the Kush*te pharoahs back to the south of Egypt.  The Assyrians never ventured south of the 1st cataract, and so the Kush*tes remained an independent and pesky power, which continued to harass the Assyrians.  The Assyrians new that their hold of Egypt was precarious at best, since it took very difficult expeditions to subjugate it.  When Egypt regained its independence, the Assyrians no longer bothered with it.  They were content in forming an alliance with it, which became active when the Medes and Babylonians began invading Assyria later.

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  Quote Arun Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-Jun-2006 at 23:48
I am an Indian. My parents are from southern state of Kerala. I was raised in Bangalore city in the state of Karnataka.
From the artefacts and the dress code of people from Egypt, I have come to believe that there must have been some connection (trade or migration of some sort) between India and Egypt. Take the lamp made of clay that were used in Egypt 1000s of years back, we in south still use the same kind of clay lamp for various occassions. The men's attire is very similar to the attire that were worn by men in Kerala. The worship of sun and animals is another aspect that you see in various groups of Hindus in India.
 
About 400 Christians migrated from Syria in 345 AD. They still live in India. Jews have come to Kerala in phases since 605 BC. A Roman sailor who made a voyage from the red sea to the Malabar cost in the second century AD saw a colony of Jews there. In AD 4th century St.Jerome talks about the Jews of Malabar coast in correspondence.
 
It is very possible that Egyptians and Indians would have met at some point in Time in the history.
 
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  Quote edgewaters Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Jun-2006 at 01:04

Originally posted by Arun

I am an Indian. My parents are from southern state of Kerala. I was raised in Bangalore city in the state of Karnataka.
From the artefacts and the dress code of people from Egypt, I have come to believe that there must have been some connection (trade or migration of some sort) between India and Egypt. Take the lamp made of clay that were used in Egypt 1000s of years back, we in south still use the same kind of claylamp for various occassions. The men's attire is very similar to the attire that were worn by men in Kerala. The worship of sun and animals is another aspect that you see in various groups of Hindus in India.


The worship of sun and animals is ubiquitous in ancient cultures, so no big surprise there. As for the rest, all these sorts of things can spread without any direct contact at all through intermediate cultures. Even transfer of actual artifacts can happen, without the two ever actually meeting.

About 400 Christians migrated from Syria in 345 AD. They still live in India. Jews have come to Kerala in phases since 605 BC. A Roman sailor who made a voyage from the red sea to the Malabar cost in the second century AD saw a colony of Jews there. In AD 4th century St.Jerome talks about the Jews of Malabar coast in correspondence.


I don't think anyone would seriously dispute that the Egyptians knew of India in the Ptolemaic period, and they certainly knew of it in the late Roman era. Entirely different subject altogether.
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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Aug-2006 at 16:14
Various pharaohs organized trade missions to the mysterios Land of Punt including Hatshepsut, some believe this could have been India, but it is more likely to have been Arabia or Somalia.


Edited by oneeye - 04-Aug-2006 at 16:15
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  Quote Aarya Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Aug-2006 at 23:13
On What trade , trading sand with Arabia????????
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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Aug-2006 at 01:38
No, Frankincense. And a whoole load of other spices and herbs.
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  Quote The Gypo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Aug-2006 at 03:00
as Sharrukin has said, the egyptians only ventured north east into Palestine,Syria and Lebanon(cedar wood, silver and frankincense)...Any more north and they would hit Hykos/Hittites, west were libyan tribes while to the south they traded gold and jewels for skins and ivory through the land of Nubia (modern day north Sudan)...there was very little to persuade them to venture into the arabian peninsula...The land of Punt is more probably Eritrea and the area of the Horn of Africa...
 
Note that travelling to India by Sea would not have been a very acceptable concept as Egyptians werent that good at boat building...
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  Quote Leonidas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Aug-2006 at 08:36
i always thought that punt was north somalia (or close by), thats what i learnt when covering Hatchepsut.

trading around the horn would make such contact with the east conceivable if via indirect channels.
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  Quote malizai_ Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Aug-2006 at 11:38
Originally posted by Leonidas

i always thought that punt was north somalia (or close by), thats what i learnt when covering Hatchepsut.

trading around the horn would make such contact with the east conceivable if via indirect channels.
 
I would have thougt indirect trade, or through resident agents.
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  Quote Aster Thrax Eupator Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-Aug-2006 at 04:12
Indian spices and produce have been found in Egyptian tombs as old as the Pyramid of Cheops, but this is disputed. Even if they did not have direct contanct with the Indians, they probably came into contact with Indian traders, as Egyptian trading with Mesopotamian civilizations would have brought them some eastern produce
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