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History’s Lost Transoceanic Voyages: Tamils and Sumerians Among the FIRST to Reach Australia and Antarctica?— PART II

History’s Lost Transoceanic Voyages: Tamils and Sumerians Among the FIRST to Reach Australia and Antarctica?— PART II

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Regarding interesting inscriptions and shapes found by satellite archaeology, revealing what might be ancient human occupation on the continent of Antarctica, author William James Veall writes that epigrapher, educator and anthropologist, Dr Clyde Winters, Ph.D. was of the opinion: “ I have looked at the inscriptions from Australia and they appear to be written in TAMIL.”


[Read Part 1]

Plate 5. (Courtesy author)

On Plate 5, Dr Winters wrote: “It was unlikely that there was any connection between Hanuman and the Indus Valley, because monkey figures do not appear on Indus Valley seals.”

He further stated, “I believe this is a human figure. It would appear that these heads are leaders from various Sumerian centers that formerly existed on Antarctica.”

“These people were probably from the Sumerian colony in South America, called Kuga Ki.”
“The Marambio Island head has three signs. The signs near the eye reads 'Ta ga’ or 'Open (up) esteem.”
“At the bottom of the figure we see two signs: a 'ga' sign, and three circles which reads as 'se'; these signs say, “The Patron is Mighty”.

Commenting on article Figure 7 (here below Plate 6), Dr Winters wrote, and I quote directly from his opinion piece:

Plate 6. (Courtesy author)

Sumerian Clues

Using Sumerian, we can easily read the inscriptions. There are four characters inside the 'box'. This appears to be the name of the individual and reads NALILISU which means: ‘The human being that glistens and shines (with) wisdom.’

The letters across the forehead include, from right to left, a single sign ‘u’, and a compound sign that reads from top to bottom Pa u mi Mash, or “The leader a powerful man is an Oracle and Shaman.”

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The sign on the cheek appears to be a mash sign with an ‘I’ in the middle of the mash sign, or the determinative placed before Divine names. There is no name following the sign, so I read it as “I Mash’, Witness here the Shaman.”

Plate 7. ‘Mash’ Determinative sign used before Divine names.(Courtesy author)

We end Dr Winters fascinating report on the Antarctica Writing with his transliteration of the 'Message on the Shore'; the ancient legend embedded into the Ross sea shoreline, and again I quote verbatim:

“The ancient legend embedded into the seashore is also a Sumerian inscription dedicated to one of the Arctic Chiefs.”

Plate 8. The ‘Message on the Shore’ embedded into the Ross Sea shoreline annotated with Dr Clyde Winters’ transliteration. (Courtesy author)

Note: Further examples of Linear Sumerian Writing used in South America can be found in Dr Winters excellent book entitled Ancient Scripts in South America .

What Conclusions Can be Made?

There is no doubt the powerful evidence extrapolated by Dr Winters transliterations from satellite photographs taken over Antarctica provide irrefutable evidence that trans-oceanic voyagers from far distant lands were able to, and did, reach the Southern Continent of Antarctica at least 6000 years ago.

Add to this, the discovery of the huge Signboard inscribed in Tamili, the Linear Sumerian ‘writing’ associated with the human head portraiture (not forgetting the 'message on the seashore', the "Patron is Mighty’ imagery from Marambio Island), then this evidence of human occupation on the Continent of Antarctica becomes difficult to dispute.

Not only was evidence obtained epigraphically, but the characters engraved on the portrait in Plate 4 even announced a name and ranking: “NALILISU: a Leader and Powerful Man”.

Dr Winters further commented: “Perhaps, He (NALILISU) was a colonist from the Sumerian colony in South America called Kuga Ki.”

Plate 9: Map of South America showing the location of Kuga Ki. (Courtesy author)

Curious to view the homelands of the Tamils, I took a satellite scan across the regions of Tamil Nadu, southern India, and the north-east and southern coastlines of Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon).

In the south-east corner of coastal Sri Lanka, on a beach directly south of the Yala National Park, I discovered a human head sculpture very similar to that on Mariambio Island. (See Plate 5)

Compare the human head from Marambio Island, Antarctica, to the bust I photographed on the Yala Beach of Sri Lanka! Notice each have the same basic ‘shape’ and each also has the Ta ga or ‘Open (up) Esteem’ signature on the cheek.

The Yala sculpture has a large ‘ga’ sign carved overhead. As with the Marambio effigy, each has the same three circles ‘se’, the two signs ‘ga’ and ‘se’ say “The Patron is Mighty”.

The box-like character with the vertical center-line, carved directly above the whole, represents the sign Gi i li: “The Progenitor of (many) people sends forth light”.

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Pecked into the base of the monument is the familiar star-wheel ‘Mash’ sign—a determinative placed before Divine Names. Does this sign infer we are looking at the monument of a Goddess?

The Eagle God Garuda Points the Way

Discovery of the near identical Yala Beach and Marambio sculptures suggests that both are almost certainly of Tamil origin; this argument is further supported by the fact that both the Marambio head and the head of the Eagle are conjoined, forming an important national icon of Tamil Nadu and of Sri Lanka.

The influence of the mighty Hindu Eagle God, 'Garuda', became so powerful that it crossed the Bay of Bengal and on to the islands of Indonesia: Sumatra, Java, Bali, Sumba and Timor where, even today, in these countries the eagle remains a national icon.

Statue of Garuda (Hyougushi / Hideyuki KAMON from National Museum in Delhi, India/ CC BY-SA 2.0 )

Trans-Oceanic Voyages

One can now hypothesize how this gradual cultural symbiosis of religion, language, and maritime trade eventually evolved into a ready-made line of communication whereby trans-oceanic voyaging could be undertaken without serious fatigue, disease, or starvation, and most importantly, without losing touch with a friendly landfall should conditions become unfavorable for onward travel... to Australia and the Antarctic? A very strong argument for the long-distance Tamil ‘waystation’ discovered along the Australian eastern seaboard. (see Plate 4)

Plate 10. The Yala Beach sculpture compared with that on Marambio Island. (see Plate 5) (Courtesy author)

The dark line appearing to separate the nose, mouth and chin from the main bust is caused by the stem of a small shrub growing out of the rocks below.

In conclusion I would like to express my most sincere thanks to Dr Clyde Winters for taking much of his valuable time to freely write his opinion piece and making an extremely important, and may I say, historical transliteration, of the ‘writing’ exposed on the Continent of Antarctica.

Satellite archaeologist and independent researcher, William James Veall is Director of Nascodex and Consultant to Nascodex Publications , and author of Portraits of the Gods .


Satellite Images Reveal Surprises

Now this discovery by William James Veall asks the question: who carved with such finesse two massive deer heads, which by their conformation suggest they may be of the Huemul species? Sculpture size (per each) averages 18 meters length by six meters width (59 by 20 feet).

FIGURES 9 and 9a: Amongst the plethora of Antarctica imagery I have recorded each piece of imagery brought forth its own particular surprise. The two animals depicted in this exciting figure were no exception.

Were the two sculptures homeland icons or had successive waves of immigrants imported deer as a source of live food or milk provision this poses another question: from where? The nearest habitat for the Huemul species of deer would likely be Patagonia, South America.

A Heumul, male south Andean deer (Hippocamelus bisulcus) in Cerro Castillo National Reserve, Aysén Region, Chile. ( CC BY-SA 3.0 )

There is a possible solution. During a period of temperate climate, did a sea route open between Cape Horn (Patagonia) and the Shetland Islands? I am quite confident in putting forward this suggestion because distinct traces of rock art activity are visible on the rock faces of some of the islands in the Shetland group. (to be published later)

Also, Nelson Island directly faces Peninsula Antarctica where I have recorded more human head portraiture, one of which is MS 3815 depicted in Figure 5, located on Marambio Island. Did some peoples set foot on Antarctica before or after those who landed at Ross Sea? Also, did the same people in a great period of climatic change either circumnavigate or use a deglaciated land route across Antarctica to reach the Ross Sea community? Hence, explaining why there are different races immortalized in its human head portraiture.

The answer to such questions is a huge and separate project in itself, probably even greater than the Ross Sea investigation because it must take into account transient movement of humans and animals between the tip of South America and Peninsula Antarctica, likely intervals of glaciation and deglaciation during periods of climatic change.

If the current glacial melt-down continues there will inevitably be the discovery of more human head portraits, with, perhaps, some very important inscriptive material all of which will make fascinating comparisons with the Ross Sea anchorage and solve the question of who really were the first to set foot on Antarctica.

FIGURE 10 and 10a What an amazing discovery! Carved entirely from white rock, an oval shaped human head with a round eyed, rather chilling stare marked with ancient symbols. Dots in a circle about a center point motif is typical late 13th century BC. Mycenaean. (Size 44 meters high x 33 meters width).

FIGURE 11 and 11a: A superbly sculptured human head in a 'Romanesque/Greco' style helmet with an open loop GIS mark on the front panel. The portrait, nearly 800 meters in height by 400 meters wide is carved into the steep face of a mountain ridge. Immediately to the right (facing) is a very distinct GIS symbol which gives a latitudinal reading of 82º 25 15 00S. Six hundred meters to the east is 'pecked' a diamond point GIS indicating the longitude of the site.

Satellite photographs show the sculpture is on a mountain side in the Holyoake Range. The very fact this colossal bust was carved in such a remote snowbound location greatly puzzled me, although I do accept the bust may have been carved if this area of Antarctica had once upon a time become ice-free and accessible. When and by whom, and for what purpose was this massive figure set in this particular location?

History of Talietumu Fort – The Last Strongholds of the First Tongan Dynasty

The fortress is believed to have been founded by Tongans in the 1400s AD. They had built up a powerful navy of large canoes that made them the chief power in the south-west Pacific. Wallis was part of the Tongan Empire and the fort was part of an international trade network. Futuna, however, was able to repulse Tongan invasion forces launched from Talietumu fort.

The king who controlled the fort was probably a tributary of the Tongan monarchy. The fortress played a very important part in the history of the Tongan Empire. In 1535, King Takalaua, the last powerful monarch, was assassinated in Mu’a, the ancient capital of Tonga, and this led to the fragmentation of the maritime Empire. It is believed that Talietumu was one of the last strongholds of the first Tongan dynasty. At some point either in the 17th or the 18th century, the fort was abandoned and fell into ruin.

The mining techniques of the Wajarri

The mining techniques used by Aboriginal people at Wilgie Mia included ‘stop and pillar’ techniques to provide increased safety when mining underground, and the use of pole scaffolding with fire-hardened wooden platforms to allow them to extract ochre from different heights in the rock face at the same time. Heavy stone mauls were used to break the ochre away from the rock walls. These techniques have not been recorded at other traditional Aboriginal mines.

Once the lumps of ochrous stone were pulled from the mine, they were carried to the top of the northern slope where they were broken up to extract the ochre. The pigment was then pulverised with rounded stones, dampened with water and worked into balls. Using these methods the Aboriginal miners removed about 19 600 cubic metres of ochre and rock weighing around 40 000 tonnes. This is the largest amount of ochre removed by Indigenous people from one location in Australia using traditional mining methods.

The National Heritage Register on which Wilgie Mia was listed in 2011, describes the mine as offering “outstanding heritage value to the nation because of the place’s importance in demonstrating a high degree of creative or technical achievement during the last three thousand years”.

Crushing ochre. Photo source.

The many are finally calling out the abusers of power because there’s no longer any need to pay the corrupting costs of centralization.

If we strip away the pretense of democracy, what is the core of our political System? Answer: control fraud, which I define as those with control/ power in centralized institutions enriching themselves at the expense of the citizenry by selectively modifying what’s permissible, and doing so in a fully legally compliant process, i.e. within the letter of the law if not the intent of the law.

I addressed control fraud a bit in The Hidden-in-Plain-Sight Mechanism of the Super-Wealthy: Money-Laundering 2.0 (December 29, 2017), in which I quoted Correspondent JD.

Here are JD’s additional comments on Money Laundering 2.0, control fraud and the political process:

Money Laundering 1.0: You make a bunch of dirty money and you have to find a way to make it legit. How can you turn a bunch of drug money into proper investments? This was a problem for bootleggers and persists into current times. With control fraud, you co-opt the legal machinery and use it to steal. The system protects the deceit. In 2008 we bailed the jerks out. The two are often used together.

I think Money Laundering 2.0 is the second part of this equation and the big global trend. With 2.0, the holder of wealth uses the wheels of the world system to offshore gains (legit or not) to safe places where they cannot be taxed or clawed back. The concept is simple, but the mechanisms are by nature complex to conceal the deal. Think Cayman Islands, Paradise Papers, shell companies, etc, etc. etc. Dump money into crazy cars, homes, etc. If physical goods aren’t easy, give to a key foundation or politician and you will be rewarded with complicity at a later date.

Suddenly, pieces fall together. The Russians were not colluding to throw an election they were as surprised Nov. 2nd as everyone else. The collusion was not about politics, but about Money Laundering 2.0.

Money Laundering 2.0 uses the wheels of accounting and government to allow offshoring of wealth, often passing off losses to the taxpayers in the form of debt.

Thank you, JD. I would add that once oligarchs, kleptocrats, corrupt officials, corporations and politically powerful plutocrats (i.e. the elite few) park their wealth in overseas havens, protected from taxation, they force the many (i.e. those left behind whose income and wealth is exposed to taxation) to shoulder more of the burdens of taxation, that is, pay higher taxes.

The important point here isn’t that control fraud is enabled by centralized institutions it’s that control fraud is the only possible output of centralization.I discussed this dynamic in my books Why Things Are Falling Apart and What We Can Do About It and Resistance, Revolution, Liberation: centralization concentrates the power needed for insiders to benefit themselves at the expense of everyone outside the ring of power.

Here is centralized power at work: the mechanism to further enrich wealthy elites and political insiders isn’t an unfortunate accident of centralized power, it’s the only possible outcome of centralized power.


The Indian Ocean has been known by its present name since at least 1515 when the Latin form Oceanus Orientalis Indicus ("Indian Eastern Ocean") is attested, named for India, which projects into it. It was earlier known as the Eastern Ocean, a term that was still in use during the mid-18th century (see map), as opposed to the Western Ocean (Atlantic) before the Pacific was surmised. [7]

Conversely, Chinese explorers in the Indian Ocean during the 15th century called it the Western Oceans. [8] The ocean has also been known as the Hind Mahasagar, Hindu Ocean and Indic Ocean in various languages. [ citation needed ]

In Ancient Greek geography, the Indian Ocean region known to the Greeks was called the Erythraean Sea. [9]

Extent and data Edit

The borders of the Indian Ocean, as delineated by the International Hydrographic Organization in 1953 included the Southern Ocean but not the marginal seas along the northern rim, but in 2000 the IHO delimited the Southern Ocean separately, which removed waters south of 60°S from the Indian Ocean but included the northern marginal seas. [10] [11] Meridionally, the Indian Ocean is delimited from the Atlantic Ocean by the 20° east meridian, running south from Cape Agulhas, and from the Pacific Ocean by the meridian of 146°49'E, running south from the southernmost point of Tasmania. The northernmost extent of the Indian Ocean (including marginal seas) is approximately 30° north in the Persian Gulf. [11]

The Indian Ocean covers 70,560,000 km 2 (27,240,000 sq mi), including the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf but excluding the Southern Ocean, or 19.5% of the world's oceans its volume is 264,000,000 km 3 (63,000,000 cu mi) or 19.8% of the world's oceans' volume it has an average depth of 3,741 m (12,274 ft) and a maximum depth of 7,906 m (25,938 ft). [5]

All of the Indian Ocean is in the Eastern Hemisphere and the centre of the Eastern Hemisphere, the 90th meridian east, passes through the Ninety East Ridge.

Coasts and shelves Edit

In contrast to the Atlantic and Pacific, the Indian Ocean is enclosed by major landmasses and an archipelago on three sides and does not stretch from pole to pole, and can be likened to an embayed ocean. It is centered on the Indian Peninsula. Although this subcontinent has played a significant role in its history, the Indian Ocean has foremostly been a cosmopolitan stage, interlinking diverse regions by innovations, trade, and religion since early in human history. [12]

The active margins of the Indian Ocean have an average depth (land to shelf break) of 19 ± 0.61 km (11.81 ± 0.38 mi) with a maximum depth of 175 km (109 mi). The passive margins have an average depth of 47.6 ± 0.8 km (29.58 ± 0.50 mi). [13] The average width of the slopes of the continental shelves are 50.4–52.4 km (31.3–32.6 mi) for active and passive margins respectively, with a maximum depth of 205.3–255.2 km (127.6–158.6 mi). [14]

Australia, Indonesia, and India are the three countries with the longest shorelines and exclusive economic zones. The continental shelf makes up 15% of the Indian Ocean. More than two billion people live in countries bordering the Indian Ocean, compared to 1.7 billion for the Atlantic and 2.7 billion for the Pacific (some countries border more than one ocean). [2]

Rivers Edit

The Indian Ocean drainage basin covers 21,100,000 km 2 (8,100,000 sq mi), virtually identical to that of the Pacific Ocean and half that of the Atlantic basin, or 30% of its ocean surface (compared to 15% for the Pacific). The Indian Ocean drainage basin is divided into roughly 800 individual basins, half that of the Pacific, of which 50% are located in Asia, 30% in Africa, and 20% in Australasia. The rivers of the Indian Ocean are shorter on average (740 km (460 mi)) than those of the other major oceans. The largest rivers are (order 5) the Zambezi, Ganges-Brahmaputra, Indus, Jubba, and Murray rivers and (order 4) the Shatt al-Arab, Wadi Ad Dawasir (a dried-out river system on the Arabian Peninsula) and Limpopo rivers. [15]

Marginal seas Edit

Marginal seas, gulfs, bays and straits of the Indian Ocean include: [11]

Along the east coast of Africa, the Mozambique Channel separates Madagascar from mainland Africa, while the Sea of Zanj is located north of Madagascar.

On the northern coast of the Arabian Sea, Gulf of Aden is connected to the Red Sea by the strait of Bab-el-Mandeb. In the Gulf of Aden, the Gulf of Tadjoura is located in Djibouti and the Guardafui Channel separates Socotra island from the Horn of Africa. The northern end of the Red Sea terminates in the Gulf of Aqaba and Gulf of Suez. The Indian Ocean is artificially connected to the Mediterranean Sea without ship lock through the Suez Canal, which is accessible via the Red Sea. The Arabian Sea is connected to the Persian Gulf by the Gulf of Oman and the Strait of Hormuz. In the Persian Gulf, the Gulf of Bahrain separates Qatar from the Arabic Peninsula.

Along the west coast of India, the Gulf of Kutch and Gulf of Khambat are located in Gujarat in the northern end while the Laccadive Sea separates the Maldives from the southern tip of India. The Bay of Bengal is off the east coast of India. The Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait separates Sri Lanka from India, while the Adam's Bridge separates the two. The Andaman Sea is located between the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Islands.

In Indonesia, the so-called Indonesian Seaway is composed of the Malacca, Sunda and Torres Straits. The Gulf of Carpentaria of located on the Australian north coast while the Great Australian Bight constitutes a large part of its southern coast. [16] [17] [18]

    - 3.862 million km 2 - 2.172 million km 2 - 797,700 km 2 - 786,000 km 2 - 700,000 km 2 - 610,000 km 2 - 438,000 km 2 - 410,000 km 2 - 251,000 km 2 - 240,000 km 2 - 200,000 km 2 - 181,000 km 2 - 45,926 km 2 - 239 km 2

Several features make the Indian Ocean unique. It constitutes the core of the large-scale Tropical Warm Pool which, when interacting with the atmosphere, affects the climate both regionally and globally. Asia blocks heat export and prevents the ventilation of the Indian Ocean thermocline. That continent also drives the Indian Ocean monsoon, the strongest on Earth, which causes large-scale seasonal variations in ocean currents, including the reversal of the Somali Current and Indian Monsoon Current. Because of the Indian Ocean Walker circulation there are no continuous equatorial easterlies. Upwelling occurs near the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula in the Northern Hemisphere and north of the trade winds in the Southern Hemisphere. The Indonesian Throughflow is a unique Equatorial connection to the Pacific. [19]

The climate north of the equator is affected by a monsoon climate. Strong north-east winds blow from October until April from May until October south and west winds prevail. In the Arabian Sea, the violent Monsoon brings rain to the Indian subcontinent. In the southern hemisphere, the winds are generally milder, but summer storms near Mauritius can be severe. When the monsoon winds change, cyclones sometimes strike the shores of the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal. [20] Some 80% of the total annual rainfall in India occurs during summer and the region is so dependent on this rainfall that many civilisations perished when the Monsoon failed in the past. The huge variability in the Indian Summer Monsoon has also occurred pre-historically, with a strong, wet phase 33,500–32,500 BP a weak, dry phase 26,000–23,500 BC and a very weak phase 17,000–15,000 BP, corresponding to a series of dramatic global events: Bølling-Allerød, Heinrich, and Younger Dryas. [21]

The Indian Ocean is the warmest ocean in the world. [22] Long-term ocean temperature records show a rapid, continuous warming in the Indian Ocean, at about 1.2 °C (34.2 °F) (compared to 0.7 °C (33.3 °F) for the warm pool region) during 1901–2012. [23] Research indicates that human induced greenhouse warming, and changes in the frequency and magnitude of El Niño (or the Indian Ocean Dipole), events are a trigger to this strong warming in the Indian Ocean. [23]

South of the Equator (20-5°S), the Indian Ocean is gaining heat from June to October, during the austral winter, while it is losing heat from November to March, during the austral summer. [24]

In 1999, the Indian Ocean Experiment showed that fossil fuel and biomass burning in South and Southeast Asia caused air pollution (also known as the Asian brown cloud) that reach as far as the Intertropical Convergence Zone at 60°S. This pollution has implications on both a local and global scale. [25]

40% of the sediment of the Indian Ocean is found in the Indus and Ganges fans. The oceanic basins adjacent to the continental slopes mostly contain terrigenous sediments. The ocean south of the polar front (roughly 50° south latitude) is high in biologic productivity and dominated by non-stratified sediment composed mostly of siliceous oozes. Near the three major mid-ocean ridges the ocean floor is relatively young and therefore bare of sediment, except for the Southwest Indian Ridge due to its ultra-slow spreading rate. [26]

The ocean's currents are mainly controlled by the monsoon. Two large gyres, one in the northern hemisphere flowing clockwise and one south of the equator moving anticlockwise (including the Agulhas Current and Agulhas Return Current), constitute the dominant flow pattern. During the winter monsoon (November–February), however, circulation is reversed north of 30°S and winds are weakened during winter and the transitional periods between the monsoons. [27]

The Indian Ocean contains the largest submarine fans of the world, the Bengal Fan and Indus Fan, and the largest areas of slope terraces and rift valleys. [28]

The inflow of deep water into the Indian Ocean is 11 Sv, most of which comes from the Circumpolar Deep Water (CDW). The CDW enters the Indian Ocean through the Crozet and Madagascar basins and crosses the Southwest Indian Ridge at 30°S. In the Mascarene Basin the CDW becomes a deep western boundary current before it is met by a re-circulated branch of itself, the North Indian Deep Water. This mixed water partly flows north into the Somali Basin whilst most of it flows clockwise in the Mascarene Basin where an oscillating flow is produced by Rossby waves. [29]

Water circulation in the Indian Ocean is dominated by the Subtropical Anticyclonic Gyre, the eastern extension of which is blocked by the Southeast Indian Ridge and the 90°E Ridge. Madagascar and the Southwest Indian Ridge separate three cells south of Madagascar and off South Africa. North Atlantic Deep Water reaches into the Indian Ocean south of Africa at a depth of 2,000–3,000 m (6,600–9,800 ft) and flows north along the eastern continental slope of Africa. Deeper than NADW, Antarctic Bottom Water flows from Enderby Basin to Agulhas Basin across deep channels (<4,000 m (13,000 ft)) in the Southwest Indian Ridge, from where it continues into the Mozambique Channel and Prince Edward Fracture Zone. [30]

North of 20° south latitude the minimum surface temperature is 22 °C (72 °F), exceeding 28 °C (82 °F) to the east. Southward of 40° south latitude, temperatures drop quickly. [20]

The Bay of Bengal contributes more than half (2,950 km 3 (710 cu mi)) of the runoff water to the Indian Ocean. Mainly in summer, this runoff flows into the Arabian Sea but also south across the Equator where it mixes with fresher seawater from the Indonesian Throughflow. This mixed freshwater joins the South Equatorial Current in the southern tropical Indian Ocean. [31] Sea surface salinity is highest (more than 36 PSU) in the Arabian Sea because evaporation exceeds precipitation there. In the Southeast Arabian Sea salinity drops to less than 34 PSU. It is the lowest (c. 33 PSU) in the Bay of Bengal because of river runoff and precipitation. The Indonesian Throughflow and precipitation results in lower salinity (34 PSU) along the Sumatran west coast. Monsoonal variation results in eastward transportation of saltier water from the Arabian Sea to the Bay of Bengal from June to September and in westerly transport by the East India Coastal Current to the Arabian Sea from January to April. [32]

An Indian Ocean garbage patch was discovered in 2010 covering at least 5 million square kilometres (1.9 million square miles). Riding the southern Indian Ocean Gyre, this vortex of plastic garbage constantly circulates the ocean from Australia to Africa, down the Mozambique Channel, and back to Australia in a period of six years, except for debris that gets indefinitely stuck in the centre of the gyre. [33] The garbage patch in the Indian Ocean will, according to a 2012 study, decrease in size after several decades to vanish completely over centuries. Over several millennia, however, the global system of garbage patches will accumulate in the North Pacific. [34]

There are two amphidromes of opposite rotation in the Indian Ocean, probably caused by Rossby wave propagation. [35]

Icebergs drift as far north as 55° south latitude, similar to the Pacific but less than in the Atlantic where icebergs reach up to 45°S. The volume of iceberg loss in the Indian Ocean between 2004 and 2012 was 24 Gt. [36]

Since the 1960s, anthropogenic warming of the global ocean combined with contributions of freshwater from retreating land ice causes a global rise in sea level. Sea level increases in the Indian Ocean too, except in the south tropical Indian Ocean where it decreases, a pattern most likely caused by rising levels of greenhouse gases. [37]

Among the tropical oceans, the western Indian Ocean hosts one of the largest concentrations of phytoplankton blooms in summer, due to the strong monsoon winds. The monsoonal wind forcing leads to a strong coastal and open ocean upwelling, which introduces nutrients into the upper zones where sufficient light is available for photosynthesis and phytoplankton production. These phytoplankton blooms support the marine ecosystem, as the base of the marine food web, and eventually the larger fish species. The Indian Ocean accounts for the second-largest share of the most economically valuable tuna catch. [38] Its fish are of great and growing importance to the bordering countries for domestic consumption and export. Fishing fleets from Russia, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan also exploit the Indian Ocean, mainly for shrimp and tuna. [3]

Research indicates that increasing ocean temperatures are taking a toll on the marine ecosystem. A study on the phytoplankton changes in the Indian Ocean indicates a decline of up to 20% in the marine plankton in the Indian Ocean, during the past six decades. The tuna catch rates have also declined 50–90% during the past half-century, mostly due to increased industrial fisheries, with the ocean warming adding further stress to the fish species. [39]

Endangered and vulnerable marine mammals and turtles: [40]

Name Distribution Trend
Australian sea lion
(Neophoca cinerea)
Southwest Australia Decreasing
Blue whale
(Balaenoptera musculs)
Global Increasing
Sei whale
(Balaenoptera borealis)
Global Increasing
Irrawaddy dolphin
(Orcaella brevirostris)
Southeast Asia Decreasing
Indian Ocean humpback dolphin
(Sousa plumbea)
Western Indian Ocean Decreasing
Green sea turtle
(Chelonia mydas)
Global Decreasing
(Dugong dugon)
Equatorial Indian Ocean and Pacific Decreasing
Sperm whale
(Physeter macrocephalus)
Global Unknown
Fin whale
(Balaenoptera physalus)
Global Increasing
Australian snubfin dolphin
(Orcaella heinsohni)
Northern Australia, New Guinea Decreasing
Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin
(Sousa chinensis)
Southeast Asia Decreasing
Indo-Pacific finless porpoise
(Neophocaena phocaenoides)
Northern Indian Ocean, Southeast Asia Decreasing
Australian humpback dolphin
(Sousa sahulensis)
Northern Australia, New Guinea Decreasing
(Dermochelys coriacea)
Global Decreasing
Olive ridley sea turtle
(Lepidochelys olivacea)
Global Decreasing
Loggerhead sea turtle
(Caretta caretta)
Global Decreasing

80% of the Indian Ocean is open ocean and includes nine large marine ecosystems: the Agulhas Current, Somali Coastal Current, Red Sea, Arabian Sea, Bay of Bengal, Gulf of Thailand, West Central Australian Shelf, Northwest Australian Shelf, and Southwest Australian Shelf. Coral reefs cover c. 200,000 km 2 (77,000 sq mi). The coasts of the Indian Ocean includes beaches and intertidal zones covering 3,000 km 2 (1,200 sq mi) and 246 larger estuaries. Upwelling areas are small but important. The hypersaline salterns in India covers between 5,000–10,000 km 2 (1,900–3,900 sq mi) and species adapted for this environment, such as Artemia salina and Dunaliella salina, are important to bird life. [41]

Coral reefs, sea grass beds, and mangrove forests are the most productive ecosystems of the Indian Ocean — coastal areas produce 20 tones per square kilometre of fish. These areas, however, are also being urbanised with populations often exceeding several thousand people per square kilometre and fishing techniques become more effective and often destructive beyond sustainable levels while the increase in sea surface temperature spreads coral bleaching. [42]

Mangroves covers 80,984 km 2 (31,268 sq mi) in the Indian Ocean region, or almost half of the world's mangrove habitat, of which 42,500 km 2 (16,400 sq mi) is located in Indonesia, or 50% of mangroves in the Indian Ocean. Mangroves originated in the Indian Ocean region and have adapted to a wide range of its habitats but it is also where it suffers its biggest loss of habitat. [43]

In 2016 six new animal species were identified at hydrothermal vents in the Southwest Indian Ridge: a "Hoff" crab, a "giant peltospirid" snail, a whelk-like snail, a limpet, a scaleworm and a polychaete worm. [44]

The West Indian Ocean coelacanth was discovered in the Indian Ocean off South Africa in the 1930s and in the late 1990s another species, the Indonesian coelacanth, was discovered off Sulawesi Island, Indonesia. Most extant coelacanths have been found in the Comoros. Although both species represent an order of lobe-finned fishes known from the Early Devonian (410 mya ) and though extinct 66 mya, they are morphologically distinct from their Devonian ancestors. Over millions of years, coelacanths evolved to inhabit different environments — lungs adapted for shallow, brackish waters evolved into gills adapted for deep marine waters. [45]

Of Earth's 36 biodiversity hotspot nine (or 25%) are located on the margins of the Indian Ocean.

  • Madagascar and the islands of the western Indian Ocean (Comoros, Réunion, Mauritius, Rodrigues, the Seychelles, and Socotra), includes 13,000 (11,600 endemic) species of plants 313 (183) birds reptiles 381 (367) 164 (97) freshwater fishes 250 (249) amphibians and 200 (192) mammals. [46]

The origin of this diversity is debated the break-up of Gondwana can explain vicariance older than 100 mya, but the diversity on the younger, smaller islands must have required a Cenozoic dispersal from the rims of the Indian Ocean to the islands. A "reverse colonisation", from islands to continents, apparently occurred more recently the chameleons, for example, first diversified on Madagascar and then colonised Africa. Several species on the islands of the Indian Ocean are textbook cases of evolutionary processes the dung beetles, day geckos, and lemurs are all examples of adaptive radiation. [ citation needed ] Many bones (250 bones per square metre) of recently extinct vertebrates have been found in the Mare aux Songes swamp in Mauritius, including bones of the Dodo bird (Raphus cucullatus) and Cylindraspis giant tortoise. An analysis of these remains suggests a process of aridification began in the southwest Indian Ocean began around 4,000 years ago. [47]

    (MPA) 8,100 (1,900 endemic) species of plants 541 (0) birds 205 (36) reptiles 73 (20) freshwater fishes 73 (11) amphibians and 197 (3) mammals. [46]

Mammalian megafauna once widespread in the MPA was driven to near extinction in the early 20th century. Some species have been successfully recovered since then — the population of white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum simum) increased from less than 20 individuals in 1895 to more than 17,000 as of 2013. Other species are still dependent of fenced areas and management programs, including black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis minor), African wild dog (Lycaon pictus), cheetah (Acynonix jubatus), elephant (Loxodonta africana), and lion (Panthera leo). [48]

    4,000 (1,750 endemic) species of plants 636 (12) birds 250 (54) reptiles 219 (32) freshwater fishes 95 (10) amphibians and 236 (7) mammals. [46]

This biodiversity hotspot (and namesake ecoregion and "Endemic Bird Area") is a patchwork of small forested areas, often with a unique assemblage of species within each, located within 200 km (120 mi) from the coast and covering a total area of c. 6,200 km 2 (2,400 sq mi). It also encompasses coastal islands, including Zanzibar and Pemba, and Mafia. [49]

    5,000 (2,750 endemic) species of plants 704 (25) birds 284 (93) reptiles 100 (10) freshwater fishes 30 (6) amphibians and 189 (18) mammals. [46]

This area, one of the only two hotspots that are entirely arid, includes the Ethiopian Highlands, the East African Rift valley, the Socotra islands, as well as some small islands in the Red Sea and areas on the southern Arabic Peninsula. Endemic and threatened mammals include the dibatag (Ammodorcas clarkei) and Speke's gazelle (Gazella spekei) the Somali wild ass (Equus africanus somaliensis) and hamadryas baboon (Papio hamadryas). It also contains many reptiles. [50] In Somalia, the centre of the 1,500,000 km 2 (580,000 sq mi) hotspot, the landscape is dominated by Acacia-Commiphora deciduous bushland, but also includes the Yeheb nut (Cordeauxia edulus) and species discovered more recently such as the Somali cyclamen (Cyclamen somalense), the only cyclamen outside the Mediterranean. Warsangli linnet (Carduelis johannis) is an endemic bird found only in northern Somalia. An unstable political regime has resulted in overgrazing which has produced one of the most degraded hotspots where only c. 5 % of the original habitat remains. [51]

  • The Western Ghats–Sri Lanka 5,916 (3,049 endemic) species of plants 457 (35) birds 265 (176) reptiles 191 (139) freshwater fishes 204 (156) amphibians and 143 (27) mammals. [46]

Encompassing the west coast of India and Sri Lanka, until c. 10,000 years ago a landbridge connected Sri Lanka to the Indian Subcontinent, hence this region shares a common community of species. [52]

    13.500 (7,000 endemic) species of plants 1,277 (73) birds 518 (204) reptiles 1,262 (553) freshwater fishes 328 (193) amphibians and 401 (100) mammals. [46]

Indo-Burma encompasses a series of mountain ranges, five of Asia's largest river systems, and a wide range of habitats. The region has a long and complex geological history, and long periods rising sea levels and glaciations have isolated ecosystems and thus promoted a high degree of endemism and speciation. The region includes two centres of endemism: the Annamite Mountains and the northern highlands on the China-Vietnam border. [53] Several distinct floristic regions, the Indian, Malesian, Sino-Himalayan, and Indochinese regions, meet in a unique way in Indo-Burma and the hotspot contains an estimated 15,000–25,000 species of vascular plants, many of them endemic. [54]

    25,000 (15,000 endemic) species of plants 771 (146) birds 449 (244) reptiles 950 (350) freshwater fishes 258 (210) amphibians and 397 (219) mammals. [46]

Sundaland encompasses 17,000 islands of which Borneo and Sumatra are the largest. Endangered mammals include the Bornean and Sumatran orangutans, the proboscis monkey, and the Javan and Sumatran rhinoceroses. [55]

    10,000 (1,500 endemic) species of plants 650 (265) birds 222 (99) reptiles 250 (50) freshwater fishes 49 (33) amphibians and 244 (144) mammals. [46] 5,571 (2,948 endemic) species of plants 285 (10) birds 177 (27) reptiles 20 (10) freshwater fishes 32 (22) amphibians and 55 (13) mammals. [46]

Stretching from Shark Bay to Israelite Bay and isolated by the arid Nullarbor Plain, the southwestern corner of Australia is a floristic region with a stable climate in which one of the world's largest floral biodiversity and an 80% endemism has evolved. From June to September it is an explosion of colours and the Wildflower Festival in Perth in September attracts more than half a million visitors. [56]

As the youngest of the major oceans, [57] the Indian Ocean has active spreading ridges that are part of the worldwide system of mid-ocean ridges. In the Indian Ocean these spreading ridges meet at the Rodrigues Triple Point with the Central Indian Ridge, including the Carlsberg Ridge, separating the African Plate from the Indian Plate the Southwest Indian Ridge separating the African Plate from the Antarctic Plate and the Southeast Indian Ridge separating the Australian Plate from the Antarctic Plate. The Central Indian Ridge is intercepted by the Owen Fracture Zone. [58] Since the late 1990s, however, it has become clear that this traditional definition of the Indo-Australian Plate cannot be correct it consists of three plates — the Indian Plate, the Capricorn Plate, and Australian Plate — separated by diffuse boundary zones. [59] Since 20 Ma the African Plate is being divided by the East African Rift System into the Nubian and Somalia plates. [60]

There are only two trenches in the Indian Ocean: the 6,000 km (3,700 mi)-long Java Trench between Java and the Sunda Trench and the 900 km (560 mi)-long Makran Trench south of Iran and Pakistan. [58]

A series of ridges and seamount chains produced by hotspots pass over the Indian Ocean. The Réunion hotspot (active 70–40 million years ago) connects Réunion and the Mascarene Plateau to the Chagos-Laccadive Ridge and the Deccan Traps in north-western India the Kerguelen hotspot (100–35 million years ago) connects the Kerguelen Islands and Kerguelen Plateau to the Ninety East Ridge and the Rajmahal Traps in north-eastern India the Marion hotspot (100–70 million years ago) possibly connects Prince Edward Islands to the Eighty Five East Ridge. [61] These hotspot tracks have been broken by the still active spreading ridges mentioned above. [58]

There are fewer seamounts in the Indian Ocean than in the Atlantic and Pacific. These are typically deeper than 3,000 m (9,800 ft) and located north of 55°S and west of 80°E. Most originated at spreading ridges but some are now located in basins far away from these ridges. The ridges of the Indian Ocean form ranges of seamounts, sometimes very long, including the Carlsberg Ridge, Madagascar Ridge, Central Indian Ridge, Southwest Indian Ridge, Chagos-Laccadive Ridge, 85°E Ridge, 90°E Ridge, Southeast Indian Ridge, Broken Ridge, and East Indiaman Ridge. The Agulhas Plateau and Mascarene Plateau are the two major shallow areas. [30]

The opening of the Indian Ocean began c. 156 Ma when Africa separated from East Gondwana. The Indian Subcontinent began to separate from Australia-Antarctica 135–125 Ma and as the Tethys Ocean north of India began to close 118–84 Ma the Indian Ocean opened behind it. [58]

The Indian Ocean, together with the Mediterranean, has connected people since ancient times, whereas the Atlantic and Pacific have had the roles of barriers or mare incognitum. The written history of the Indian Ocean, however, has been Eurocentric and largely dependent on the availability of written sources from the colonial era. This history is often divided into an ancient period followed by an Islamic period the subsequent periods are often subdivided into Portuguese, Dutch, and British periods. [62]

A concept of an "Indian Ocean World" (IOW), similar to that of the "Atlantic World", exists but emerged much more recently and is not well established. The IOW is, nevertheless, sometimes referred to as the "first global economy" and was based on the monsoon which linked Asia, China, India, and Mesopotamia. It developed independently from the European global trade in the Mediterranean and Atlantic and remained largely independent from them until European 19th-century colonial dominance. [63]

The diverse history of the Indian Ocean is a unique mix of cultures, ethnic groups, natural resources, and shipping routes. It grew in importance beginning in the 1960s and 1970s and, after the Cold War, it has undergone periods of political instability, most recently with the emergence of India and China as regional powers. [64]

First settlements Edit

Pleistocene fossils of Homo erectus and other pre-H. sapiens hominid fossils, similar to H. heidelbergensis in Europe, have been found in India. According to the Toba catastrophe theory, a supereruption c. 74000 years ago at Lake Toba, Sumatra, covered India with volcanic ashes and wiped out one or more lineages of such archaic humans in India and Southeast Asia. [65]

The Out of Africa theory states that Homo sapiens spread from Africa into mainland Eurasia. The more recent Southern Dispersal or Coastal hypothesis instead advocates that modern humans spread along the coasts of the Arabic Peninsula and southern Asia. This hypothesis is supported by mtDNA research which reveals a rapid dispersal event during the Late Pleistocene (11,000 years ago). This coastal dispersal, however, began in East Africa 75,000 years ago and occurred intermittently from estuary to estuary along the northern perimeter of the Indian Ocean at a rate of 0.7–4.0 km (0.43–2.49 mi) per year. It eventually resulted in modern humans migrating from Sunda over Wallacea to Sahul (Southeast Asia to Australia). [66] Since then, waves of migration have resettled people and, clearly, the Indian Ocean littoral had been inhabited long before the first civilisations emerged. 5000–6000 years ago six distinct cultural centres had evolved around the Indian Ocean: East Africa, the Middle East, the Indian Subcontinent, South East Asia, the Malay World, and Australia each interlinked to its neighbours. [67]

Food globalisation began on the Indian Ocean littoral c. 4.000 years ago. Five African crops — sorghum, pearl millet, finger millet, cowpea, and hyacinth bean — somehow found their way to Gujarat in India during the Late Harappan (2000–1700 BCE). Gujarati merchants evolved into the first explorers of the Indian Ocean as they traded African goods such as ivory, tortoise shells, and slaves. Broomcorn millet found its way from Central Asia to Africa, together with chicken and zebu cattle, although the exact timing is disputed. Around 2000 BCE black pepper and sesame, both native to Asia, appear in Egypt, albeit in small quantities. Around the same time the black rat and the house mouse emigrate from Asia to Egypt. Banana reached Africa around 3000 years ago. [68]

At least eleven prehistoric tsunamis have struck the Indian Ocean coast of Indonesia between 7400 and 2900 years ago. Analysing sand beds in caves in the Aceh region, scientists concluded that the intervals between these tsunamis have varied from series of minor tsunamis over a century to dormant periods of more than 2000 years preceding megathrusts in the Sunda Trench. Although the risk for future tsunamis is high, a major megathrust such as the one in 2004 is likely to be followed by a long dormant period. [69]

A group of scientists have argued that two large-scale impact events have occurred in the Indian Ocean: the Burckle Crater in the southern Indian Ocean in 2800 BCE and the Kanmare and Tabban craters in the Gulf of Carpentaria in northern Australia in 536 CE. Evidences for these impacts, the team argue, are micro-ejecta and Chevron dunes in southern Madagascar and in the Australian gulf. Geological evidences suggest the tsunamis caused by these impacts reached 205 m (673 ft) above sea level and 45 km (28 mi) inland. The impact events must have disrupted human settlements and perhaps even contributed to major climate changes. [70]

Antiquity Edit

The history of the Indian Ocean is marked by maritime trade cultural and commercial exchange probably date back at least seven thousand years. [71] Human culture spread early on the shores of the Indian Ocean and was always linked to the cultures of the Mediterranean and the Persian Gulf. Before c. 2000 BCE, however, cultures on its shores were only loosely tied to each other bronze, for example, was developed in Mesopotamia c. 3000 BCE but remained uncommon in Egypt before 1800 BCE. [72] During this period, independent, short-distance oversea communications along its littoral margins evolved into an all-embracing network. The début of this network was not the achievement of a centralised or advanced civilisation but of local and regional exchange in the Persian Gulf, the Red Sea, and the Arabian Sea. Sherds of Ubaid (2500–500 BCE) pottery have been found in the western Gulf at Dilmun, present-day Bahrain traces of exchange between this trading centre and Mesopotamia. The Sumerians traded grain, pottery, and bitumen (used for reed boats) for copper, stone, timber, tin, dates, onions, and pearls. [73] Coast-bound vessels transported goods between the Indus Valley Civilisation (2600–1900 BCE) in the Indian subcontinent (modern-day Pakistan and Northwest India) and the Persian Gulf and Egypt. [71]

The Red Sea, one of the main trade routes in Antiquity, was explored by Egyptians and Phoenicians during the last two millennia BCE. In the 6th century, BCE Greek explorer Scylax of Caryanda made a journey to India, working for the Persian king Darius, and his now-lost account put the Indian Ocean on the maps of Greek geographers. The Greeks began to explore the Indian Ocean following the conquests of Alexander the Great, who ordered a circumnavigation of the Arabian Peninsula in 323 BCE. During the two centuries that followed the reports of the explorers of Ptolemaic Egypt resulted in the best maps of the region until the Portuguese era many centuries later. The main interest in the region for the Ptolemies was not commercial but military they explored Africa to hunt for war elephants. [74]

The Rub' al Khali desert isolates the southern parts of the Arabic Peninsula and the Indian Ocean from the Arabic world. This encouraged the development of maritime trade in the region linking the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf to East Africa and India. The monsoon (from mawsim, the Arabic word for season), however, was used by sailors long before being "discovered" by Hippalus in the 1st century. Indian wood have been found in Sumerian cities, there is evidence of Akkad coastal trade in the region, and contacts between India and the Red Sea dates back to 2300 B.C. The archipelagoes of the central Indian Ocean, the Laccadive and Maldive islands, were probably populated during the 2nd century B.C. from the Indian mainland. They appear in written history in the account of merchant Sulaiman al-Tajir in the 9th century but the treacherous reefs of the islands were most likely cursed by the sailors of Aden long before the islands were even settled. [75]

Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, an Alexandrian guide to the world beyond the Red Sea — including Africa and India — from the first century CE, not only gives insights into trade in the region but also shows that Roman and Greek sailors had already gained knowledge about the monsoon winds. [71] The contemporaneous settlement of Madagascar by Austronesian sailors shows that the littoral margins of the Indian Ocean were being both well-populated and regularly traversed at least by this time. Albeit the monsoon must have been common knowledge in the Indian Ocean for centuries. [71]

The Indian Ocean's relatively calmer waters opened the areas bordering it to trade earlier than the Atlantic or Pacific oceans. The powerful monsoons also meant ships could easily sail west early in the season, then wait a few months and return eastwards. This allowed ancient Indonesian peoples to cross the Indian Ocean to settle in Madagascar around 1 CE. [76]

In the 2nd or 1st century BCE, Eudoxus of Cyzicus was the first Greek to cross the Indian Ocean. The probably fictitious sailor Hippalus is said to have learnt the direct route from Arabia to India around this time. [77] During the 1st and 2nd centuries AD intensive trade relations developed between Roman Egypt and the Tamil kingdoms of the Cheras, Cholas and Pandyas in Southern India. Like the Indonesian people above, the western sailors used the monsoon to cross the ocean. The unknown author of the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea describes this route, as well as the commodities that were traded along various commercial ports on the coasts of the Horn of Africa and India circa 1 CE. Among these trading settlements were Mosylon and Opone on the Red Sea littoral. [9]

Age of Discovery Edit

Unlike the Pacific Ocean where the civilization of the Polynesians reached most of the far-flung islands and atolls and populated them, almost all the islands, archipelagos and atolls of the Indian Ocean were uninhabited until colonial times. Although there were numerous ancient civilizations in the coastal states of Asia and parts of Africa, the Maldives were the only island group in the Central Indian Ocean region where an ancient civilization flourished. [78] Maldivians, on their annual trade trip, took their oceangoing trade ships to Sri Lanka rather than mainland India, which is much closer, because their ships were dependent of the Indian Monsoon Current. [79]

Arabic missionaries and merchants began to spread Islam along the western shores of the Indian Ocean from the 8th century, if not earlier. A Swahili stone mosque dating to the 8th–15th centuries has been found in Shanga, Kenya. Trade across the Indian Ocean gradually introduced Arabic script and rice as a staple in Eastern Africa. [80] Muslim merchants traded an estimated 1000 African slaves annually between 800 and 1700, a number that grew to c. 4000 during the 18th century, and 3700 during the period 1800–1870. Slave trade also occurred in the eastern Indian Ocean before the Dutch settled there around 1600 but the volume of this trade is unknown. [81]

From 1405 to 1433 admiral Zheng He said to have led large fleets of the Ming Dynasty on several treasure voyages through the Indian Ocean, ultimately reaching the coastal countries of East Africa. [82]

The Portuguese navigator Vasco da Gama rounded the Cape of Good Hope during his first voyage in 1497 and became the first European to sail to India. The Swahili people he encountered along the African east coast lived in a series of cities and had established trade routes to India and to China. Among them, the Portuguese kidnapped most of their pilots in coastal raids and onboard ships. A few of the pilots, however, were gifts by local Swahili rulers, including the sailor from Gujarat, a gift by a Malindi ruler in Kenya, who helped the Portuguese to reach India. In expeditions after 1500, the Portuguese attacked and colonised cities along the African coast. [83] European slave trade in the Indian Ocean began when Portugal established Estado da Índia in the early 16th century. From then until the 1830s, c. 200 slaves were exported from Mozambique annually and similar figures has been estimated for slaves brought from Asia to the Philippines during the Iberian Union (1580–1640). [81]

The Ottoman Empire began its expansion into the Indian Ocean in 1517 with the conquest of Egypt under Sultan Selim I. Although the Ottomans shared the same religion as the trading communities in the Indian Ocean the region was unexplored by them. Maps that included the Indian Ocean had been produced by Muslim geographers centuries before the Ottoman conquests Muslim scholars, such as Ibn Battuta in the 14th Century, had visited most parts of the known world contemporarily with Vasco da Gama, Arab navigator Ahmad ibn Mājid had compiled a guide to navigation in the Indian Ocean the Ottomans, nevertheless, began their own parallel era of discovery which rivalled the European expansion. [84]

The establishment of the Dutch East India Company in the early 17th century lead to a quick increase in the volume of the slave trade in the region there were perhaps up to 500,000 slaves in various Dutch colonies during the 17th and 18th centuries in the Indian Ocean. For example, some 4000 African slaves were used to build the Colombo fortress in Dutch Ceylon. Bali and neighbouring islands supplied regional networks with c. 100,000–150,000 slaves 1620–1830. Indian and Chinese slave traders supplied Dutch Indonesia with perhaps 250,000 slaves during the 17th and 18th centuries. [81]

The East India Company (EIC) was established during the same period and in 1622 one of its ships carried slaves from the Coromandel Coast to Dutch East Indies. The EIC mostly traded in African slaves but also some Asian slaves purchased from Indian, Indonesian and Chinese slave traders. The French established colonies on the islands of Réunion and Mauritius in 1721 by 1735 some 7,200 slaves populated the Mascarene Islands, a number which had reached 133,000 in 1807. The British captured the islands in 1810, however, and because the British had prohibited the slave trade in 1807 a system of clandestine slave trade developed to bring slaves to French planters on the islands in all 336,000–388,000 slaves were exported to the Mascarene Islands from 1670 until 1848. [81]

In all, European traders exported 567,900–733,200 slaves within the Indian Ocean between 1500 and 1850 and almost that same amount were exported from the Indian Ocean to the Americas during the same period. Slave trade in the Indian Ocean was, nevertheless, very limited compared to c. 12,000,000 slaves exported across the Atlantic. [81]

Modern era Edit

Scientifically, the Indian Ocean remained poorly explored before the International Indian Ocean Expedition in the early 1960s. However, the Challenger expedition 1872–1876 only reported from south of the polar front. The Valdivia expedition 1898–1899 made deep samples in the Indian Ocean. In the 1930s, the John Murray Expedition mainly studied shallow-water habitats. The Swedish Deep Sea Expedition 1947–1948 also sampled the Indian Ocean on its global tour and the Danish Galathea sampled deep-water fauna from Sri Lanka to South Africa on its second expedition 1950–1952. The Soviet research vessel Vityaz also did research in the Indian Ocean. [1]

The Suez Canal opened in 1869 when the Industrial Revolution dramatically changed global shipping – the sailing ship declined in importance as did the importance of European trade in favour of trade in East Asia and Australia. [85] The construction of the canal introduced many non-indigenous species into the Mediterranean. For example, the goldband goatfish (Upeneus moluccensis) has replaced the red mullet (Mullus barbatus) since the 1980s huge swarms of scyphozoan jellyfish (Rhopilema nomadica) have affected tourism and fisheries along the Levantian coast and clogged power and desalination plants. Plans announced in 2014 to build a new, much larger Suez Canal parallel to the 19th-century canal will most likely boost the economy in the region but also cause ecological damage in a much wider area. [86]

Throughout the colonial era, islands such as Mauritius were important shipping nodes for the Dutch, French, and British. Mauritius, an inhabited island, became populated by slaves from Africa and indenture labour from India. The end of World War II marked the end of the colonial era. The British left Mauritius in 1974 and with 70% of the population of Indian descent, Mauritius became a close ally of India. In the 1980s, during the Cold War, the South African regime acted to destabilise several island nations in the Indian Ocean, including the Seychelles, Comoros, and Madagascar. India intervened in Mauritius to prevent a coup d'état, backed up by the United States who feared the Soviet Union could gain access to Port Louis and threaten the U.S. base on Diego Garcia. [87] Iranrud is an unrealised plan by Iran and the Soviet Union to build a canal between the Caspian Sea and the Persian Gulf.

Testimonies from the colonial era are stories of African slaves, Indian indentured labourers, and white settlers. But, while there was a clear racial line between free men and slaves in the Atlantic World, this delineation is less distinct in the Indian Ocean — there were Indian slaves and settlers as well as black indentured labourers. There were also a string of prison camps across the Indian Ocean, from Robben Island in South Africa to Cellular Jail in the Andamans, in which prisoners, exiles, POWs, forced labourers, merchants, and people of different faiths were forcefully united. On the islands of the Indian Ocean, therefore, a trend of creolisation emerged. [88]

On 26 December 2004 fourteen countries around the Indian Ocean were hit by a wave of tsunamis caused by the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake. The waves radiated across the ocean at speeds exceeding 500 km/h (310 mph), reached up to 20 m (66 ft) in height, and resulted in an estimated 236,000 deaths. [89]

In the late 2000s, the ocean evolved into a hub of pirate activity. By 2013, attacks off the Horn region's coast had steadily declined due to active private security and international navy patrols, especially by the Indian Navy. [90]

Malaysian Airlines Flight 370, a Boeing 777 airliner with 239 persons on board, disappeared on 8 March 2014 and is alleged to have crashed into the southern Indian Ocean about 2,500 km (1,600 mi) from the coast of southwest Western Australia. Despite an extensive search, the whereabouts of the remains of the aircraft is unknown. [91]

The Sentinelese people of North Sentinel Island, which lies near South Andaman Island in the Bay of Bengal, have been called by experts the most isolated people in the world. [92]

The sovereignty of the Chagos Archipelago in the Indian Ocean is disputed between the United Kingdom and Mauritius. [93] In February 2019, the International Court of Justice in The Hague issued an advisory opinion stating that the UK must transfer the Chagos Archipelago to Mauritius. [94]

The sea lanes in the Indian Ocean are considered among the most strategically important in the world with more than 80 percent of the world's seaborne trade in oil transits through the Indian Ocean and its vital chokepoints, with 40 percent passing through the Strait of Hormuz, 35 percent through the Strait of Malacca and 8 percent through the Bab el-Mandab Strait. [95]

The Indian Ocean provides major sea routes connecting the Middle East, Africa, and East Asia with Europe and the Americas. It carries a particularly heavy traffic of petroleum and petroleum products from the oil fields of the Persian Gulf and Indonesia. Large reserves of hydrocarbons are being tapped in the offshore areas of Saudi Arabia, Iran, India, and Western Australia. An estimated 40% of the world's offshore oil production comes from the Indian Ocean. [3] Beach sands rich in heavy minerals, and offshore placer deposits are actively exploited by bordering countries, particularly India, Pakistan, South Africa, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and Thailand.

In particular, the maritime part of the Silk Road leads through the Indian Ocean on which a large part of the global container trade is carried out. The Silk Road runs with its connections from the Chinese coast and its large container ports to the south via Hanoi to Jakarta, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur through the Strait of Malacca via the Sri Lankan Colombo opposite the southern tip of India via Malé, the capital of the Maldives, to the East African Mombasa, from there to Djibouti, then through the Red Sea over the Suez Canal into the Mediterranean, there via Haifa, Istanbul and Athens to the Upper Adriatic to the northern Italian junction of Trieste with its international free port and its rail connections to Central and Eastern Europe. [96] [97] [98] [99]

The Silk Road has become internationally important again on the one hand through European integration, the end of the Cold War and free world trade and on the other hand through Chinese initiatives. Chinese companies have made investments in several Indian Ocean ports, including Gwadar, Hambantota, Colombo and Sonadia. This has sparked a debate about the strategic implications of these investments. [100] There are also Chinese investments and related efforts to intensify trade in East Africa and in European ports such as Piraeus and Trieste. [101] [102] [103]


Until the arrival of British, the term Malabar was used in foreign trade circles as a general name for Kerala. [3] Earlier, the term Malabar had also been used to denote Tulu Nadu and Kanyakumari which lie contiguous to Kerala on the southwestern coast of India, in addition to the modern state of Kerala. [5] [6] The people of Malabar were known as Malabars. From the time of Cosmas Indicopleustes (6th century CE) itself, the Arab sailors used to call Kerala as Male. The first element of the name, however, is attested already in the Topography written by Cosmas Indicopleustes. This mentions a pepper emporium called Male, which clearly gave its name to Malabar ('the country of Male'). The name Male is thought to come from the Malayalam word Mala ('hill'). [7] [8] Al-Biruni (AD 973 - 1048) must have been the first writer to call this state Malabar. [3] Authors such as Ibn Khordadbeh and Al-Baladhuri mention Malabar ports in their works. [9] The Arab writers had called this place Malibar, Manibar, Mulibar, and Munibar. Malabar is reminiscent of the word Malanad which means the land of hills. According to William Logan, the word Malabar comes from a combination of the Malayalam word Mala (hill) and the Persian/Arabic word Barr (country/continent). [3]

Mahabali Edit

Perhaps the most famous festival of Kerala, Onam, is deeply rooted in Kerala traditions. Onam is associated with the legendary king Mahabali (Maveli), who according to tradition and Puranas, ruled the Earth and several other planetary systems from Kerala. His entire kingdom was then a land of immense prosperity and happiness. However, Mahabali was tricked into giving up his rule, and was thus overthrown by Vamana (Thrikkakkarayappan), the fifth Avatar (earthly incarnation) of Lord Vishnu. He was banished from the Earth to rule over one of the netherworld (Patala) planets called Sutala by Vamana. Mahabali comes back to visit Kerala every year on the occasion of Onam. [10]

Other texts Edit

The oldest of all the Puranas, the Matsya Purana, sets the story of the Matsya Avatar (fish incarnation) of Lord Vishnu, in the Western Ghats. [ citation needed ] The earliest Sanskrit text to mention Kerala by name as Cherapadah is the Aitareya Aranyaka, a late Vedic work on philosophy. [11] It is also mentioned in both the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. [12]

Parasurama Edit

There are legends dealing with the origins of Kerala geographically and culturally. One such legend is the retrieval of Kerala from the sea, by Parasurama, a warrior sage. It proclaims that Parasurama, an Avatar of Mahavishnu, threw His battle axe into the sea. As a result, the land of Kerala arose, and thus was reclaimed from the waters. [13]

Ophir legends Edit

Ophir, a port or region mentioned in the Bible, [14] famous for its wealth, is often identified with some coastal areas of Kerala. According to legend, the King Solomon received a cargo from Ophir every three years (1 Kings 10:22) which consisted of gold, silver, sandalwood, pearls, ivory, apes, and peacocks. [15] A Dictionary of the Bible by Sir William Smith, published in 1863, [16] notes the Hebrew word for parrot Thukki, derived from the Classical Tamil for peacock Thogkai and Cingalese Tokei, [17] joins other Classical Tamil words for ivory, cotton-cloth and apes preserved in the Hebrew Bible. This theory of Ophir's location in Tamilakam is further supported by other historians. [18] [19] [20] [21] The most likely location on the coast of Kerala conjectured to be Ophir is Poovar in Thiruvananthapuram District (though some Indian scholars also suggest Beypore as possible location). [22] [23] The Books of Kings and Chronicles tell of a joint expedition to Ophir by King Solomon and the Tyrian king Hiram I from Ezion-Geber, a port on the Red Sea, that brought back large amounts of gold, precious stones and 'algum wood' and of a later failed expedition by king Jehoshaphat of Judah. [i] The famous 'gold of Ophir' is referenced in several other books of the Hebrew Bible. [ii]

  1. ^ The first expedition is described in 1 Kings 9:28 10:11 1 Chronicles 29:4 2 Chronicles 8:18 9:10, the failed expedition of Jehoshaphat in 1 Kings 22:48
  2. ^Book of Job 22:24 28:16 Psalms 45:9 Isaiah 13:12

Cheraman Perumal legends Edit

The legend of Cheraman Perumals is the medieval tradition associated with the Cheraman Perumal (literally the Chera kings) of Kerala. [24] The Cheraman Perumals mentioned in the legend can be identified with the Chera Perumal rulers of medieval Kerala (c. 8th - 12th century AD). [25] The validity of the legend as a source of history once generated much debate among South Indian historians. [26] The legend was used by Kerala chiefdoms for the legitimation of their rule (most of the major chiefly houses in medieval Kerala traced its origin back to the legendary allocation by the Perumal). [27] [28] According to the legend, Rayar, the overlord of the Cheraman Perumal in a country east of the Ghats, invaded Kerala during the rule of the last Perumal. To drive back the invading forces the Perumal summoned the militia of his chieftains (like Udaya Varman Kolathiri, Manichchan, and Vikkiran of Eranad). The Cheraman Perumal was assured by the Eradis (chief of Eranad) that they would take a fort established by the Rayar. [29] The battle lasted for three days and the Rayar eventually evacuated his fort (and it was seized by the Perumal's troops). [29] Then the last Cheraman Perumal divided Kerala or Chera kingdom among his chieftains and disappeared mysteriously. The Kerala people never more heard any tidings of him. [24] [27] [28] The Eradis of Nediyiruppu, who later came to be known as the Zamorins of Kozhikode, who were left out in cold during allocation of the land, was granted the Cheraman Perumal's sword (with the permission to "die, and kill, and seize"). [28] [29]

According to the Cheraman Juma Mosque and some other narratives, [30] [31] "Once a Cheraman Perumal probably named Ravi Varma [31] was walking with his queen in the palace, when he witnessed the Splitting of the moon. Shocked by this, he asked his astronomers to note down the exact time of the splitting. Then, when some Arab merchants visited his palace, he asked them about this incident. Their answers led the King to Mecca, where he met Islamic prophet Muhammad and converted to Islam. Muhammad named him Tajuddin or Thajuddin or Thiya-aj-Addan meaning "crown of faith". [32] [33] [34] The king then wrote letters to his kingdom to accept Islam and follow the teachings of Malik bin Deenar". [35] [36] [30] It is assumed that the first recorded version of this legend is an Arabic manuscript of anonymous authorship known as Qissat Shakarwati Farmad. [37] The 16th century Arabic work Tuhfat Ul Mujahideen authored by Zainuddin Makhdoom II of Ponnani, as well as the medieval Malayalam work Keralolpathi, also mention about the departure of last Cheraman Perumal of Kerala into Mecca. [38] [39]

A substantial portion of Kerala including the wetsern coastal lowland and the plains of midland may have been under the sea in ancient times. Marine fossils have been found in an area near Changanassery, thus supporting the hypothesis. [40] Archaeological studies have identified many Mesolithic, Neolithic and Megalithic sites in the eastern highlands of Kerala mainly centred around the eastern mountain ranges of Western Ghats. [41] Rock engravings in the Edakkal Caves, in Wayanad date back to the Neolithic era around 6000 BCE. [42] [43] These findings have been classified into Laterite rock-cut caves (Chenkallara), Hood stones (Kudakkallu), Hat stones (Toppikallu), Dolmenoid cists (Kalvrtham), Urn burials (Nannangadi) and Menhirs (Pulachikallu). The studies point to the indigenous development of the ancient Kerala society and its culture beginning from the Paleolithic age, and its continuity through Mesolithic, Neolithic and Megalithic ages. [44] However, foreign cultural contacts have assisted this cultural formation. [45] The studies suggest possible relationship with Indus Valley Civilization during the late Bronze Age and early Iron Age. [46]

Archaeological findings include dolmens of the Neolithic era in the Marayur area. They are locally known as "muniyara", derived from muni (hermit or sage) and ara (dolmen). [47] Rock engravings in the Edakkal Caves in Wayanad are thought to date from the early to late Neolithic eras around 5000 BCE. [42] [48] [49] Historian M. R. Raghava Varier of the Kerala state archaeology department identified a sign of "a man with jar cup" in the engravings, which is the most distinct motif of the Indus valley civilisation. [50]

Early ruling dynasties Edit

Kerala's dominant rulers of the early historic period were the Cheras, a Tamil dynasty with its headquarters located in Vanchi. [51] The location of Vanchi is generally considered near the ancient port city of Muziris in Kerala. [52] [53] However, Karur in modern Tamil Nadu is also pointed out as the location of the capital city of Cheras. [54] Another view suggests the reign of Cheras from multiple capitals. [42] The Chera kingdom consisted of a major part of modern Kerala and Kongunadu which comprises western districts of modern Tamil Nadu like Coimbatore and Salem. [54] [55] The region around Coimbatore was ruled by the Cheras during Sangam period between c. 1st and the 4th centuries CE and it served as the eastern entrance to the Palakkad Gap, the principal trade route between the Malabar Coast and Tamil Nadu. [56] Old Tamil works such as Patiṟṟuppattu, Patiṉeṇmēlkaṇakku and Silappatikaram are important sources that describe the Cheras from the early centuries CE. [57] Together with the Cholas and Pandyas the Cheras formed the Tamil triumvirate of the mūvēntar (Three Crowned Kings). The Cheras ruled the western Malabar Coast, the Cholas ruled in the eastern Coromandel Coast and the Pandyas in the south-central peninsula. The Cheras were mentioned as Ketalaputo (Keralaputra) on an inscribed edict of emperor Ashoka of the Magadha Empire in the 3rd century BCE, [2] as Cerobothra by the Greek Periplus of the Erythraean Sea and as Celebothras in the Roman encyclopedia Natural History by Pliny the Elder. The Mushika kingdom existed in northern Kerala, while the Ays ruled south of the Chera kingdom. [58]

Trade relations Edit

The region of Kerala was possibly engaged in trading activities from the 3rd millennium BCE with Arabs, Sumerians and Babylonians. [59] Phoenicians, Greeks, Egyptians, Romans, and Chinese were attracted by a variety of commodities, especially spices and cotton fabrics. [60] [61] Arabs and Phoenicians were the first to enter Malabar Coast to trade Spices. [60] The Arabs on the coasts of Yemen, Oman, and the Persian Gulf, must have made the first long voyage to Kerala and other eastern countries. [60] They must have brought the Cinnamon of Kerala to the Middle East. [60] The Greek historian Herodotus (5th century BCE) records that in his time the cinnamon spice industry was monopolized by the Egyptians and the Phoenicians. [60]

Muziris, Tyndis, Naura, Berkarai, and Nelcynda were among the principal trading port centres of the Chera kingdom. [62] Megasthanes, the Greek ambassador to the court of Magadhan king Chandragupta Maurya (4th century BCE) mentions Muziris and a Pandyan trade centre. Pliny mentions Muziris as India's first port of importance. According to him, Muziris could be reached in 40 days from the Red Sea ports of Egypt purely depending on the South west monsoon winds. Later, the unknown author of the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea notes that "both Muziris and Nelcynda are now busy places". There were harbours of Naura near Kannur, Tyndis near Kozhikode, and Barace near Alappuzha, which were also trading with Rome and Palakkad pass (churam) facilitated migration and trade. Tyndis was a major center of trade, next only to Muziris, between the Cheras and the Roman Empire. [63] Roman establishments in the port cities of the region, such as a temple of Augustus and barracks for garrisoned Roman soldiers, are marked in the Tabula Peutingeriana the only surviving map of the Roman cursus publicus. [64] [65] Pliny the Elder (1st century CE) states that the port of Tyndis was located at the northwestern border of Keprobotos (Chera dynasty). [66] The North Malabar region, which lies north of the port at Tyndis, was ruled by the kingdom of Ezhimala during Sangam period. [3] The port of Tyndis which was on the northern side of Muziris, as mentioned in Greco-Roman writings, was somewhere near Kozhikode. [3] It's exact location is a matter of dispute. [3] The suggested locations are Ponnani, Tanur, Beypore-Chaliyam-Kadalundi-Vallikkunnu, and Koyilandy. [3]

According to the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, a region known as Limyrike began at Naura and Tyndis. However the Ptolemy mentions only Tyndis as the Limyrike's starting point. The region probably ended at Kanyakumari it thus roughly corresponds to the present-day Malabar Coast. The value of Rome's annual trade with the region was estimated at around 50,000,000 sesterces. [67] Pliny the Elder mentioned that Limyrike was prone by pirates. [68] The Cosmas Indicopleustes mentioned that the Limyrike was a source of Malabar peppers. [69] [70] Contemporary Tamil literature, Puṟanāṉūṟu and Akanaṉūṟu, speak of the Roman vessels and the Roman gold that used to come to the Kerala ports in search of Malabar pepper and other spices, which had enormous demand in the West. The contact with Middle East and Romans might have given rise to small colonies of Jews, Mappila Muslims, and Syrian Christians in the chief harbour towns of Kerala.

Formation of a multicultural society Edit

Buddhism and Jainism reached Kerala in this early period. As in other parts of ancient India, Buddhism and Jainism co-existed with early Hindu beliefs during the first five centuries. Merchants from West Asia and Southern Europe established coastal posts and settlements in Kerala. [71] Jews arrived in Kerala as early as 573 BCE. [72] [73] The Cochin Jews believe that their ancestors came to the west coast of India as refugees following the destruction of Jerusalem in the first century CE. Saint Thomas Christians claim to be the descendants of the converts of Saint Thomas the Apostle of Jesus Christ. Arabs also had trade links with Kerala, starting before the 4th century BCE, as Herodotus (484–413 BCE) noted that goods brought by Arabs from Kerala were sold to the Jews at Eden. [62] They intermarried with local people, resulting in formation of the Muslim Mappila community. In the 4th century, the Knanaya Christians migrated from Persia and settled in southern Kodungallur. [74] [75] Mappila was an honorific title that had been assigned to respected visitors from abroad and Jewish, Syrian Christian, and Muslim immigration might account for later names of the respective communities: Juda Mappilas, Muslim Mappilas, and Nasrani Mappilas. [76] [77] According to the legends of these communities, the earliest Christian churches, [78] mosque, [79] and synagogue (CE 1568) [80] in India were built in Kerala. The combined number of Jews, Muslims, and Christians was relatively small at this early stage. They co-existed harmoniously with each other and with local Hindu society, aided by the commercial benefit from such association. [81]

Political changes Edit

Much of history of the region from the 6th to the 8th century is obscure. [1] From the Kodungallur line of the Cheras rose the Kulasekhara dynasty, which was established by Kulasekhara Varman. At its zenith these Later Cheras ruled over a territory comprising the whole of modern Kerala and a smaller part of modern Tamil Nadu. During the early part of Kulasekhara period, the southern region from Nagercoil to Thiruvananthapuram was ruled by Ay kings, who lost their power in the 10th century and thus the region became a part of the Cheras. [83] [84] Kerala witnessed a flourishing period of art, literature, trade and the Bhakti movement of Hinduism. [85] A Keralite identity, distinct from the Tamils, became linguistically separate during this period. [86] The origin of Malayalam calendar dates back to year 825 CE. [87] [88] [89] For the local administration, the empire was divided into provinces under the rule of Nair Chieftains known as Naduvazhis, with each province comprising a number of Desams under the control of chieftains, called as Desavazhis. [85] The era witnessed also a shift in political power, evidenced by a gradual increase of Namboothiri Brahmin settlements, who migrated from Tulu Nadu and established the caste hierarchy in Kerala by assigning different groups separate positions. [90] [91] As a result, many temples were constructed across Kerala, which according to M. T. Narayanan "became cornerstones of the socio-economic society". [91] Mamankam festival, which was the largest native festival, was held at Tirunavaya near Kuttippuram, on the bank of river Bharathappuzha. [3] Athavanad, the headquarters of Azhvanchery Thamprakkal, who were also considered as the supreme religious chief of the Nambudiri Brahmins of Kerala, is also located near Tirunavaya. [3]

Sulaiman al-Tajir, a Persian merchant who visited Kerala during the reign of Sthanu Ravi Varma (9th century CE), records that there was extensive trade between Kerala and China at that time, based at the port of Kollam. [92] A number of foreign accounts have mentioned about the presence of considerable Muslim population in the coastal towns. Arab writers such as Al-Masudi of Baghdad (896–956 AD), Muhammad al-Idrisi (1100-1165 AD), Abulfeda (1273-1331 AD), and Al-Dimashqi (1256-1327 AD) mention the Muslim communities in Kerala. [93] Some historians assume that the Mappilas can be considered as the first native, settled Muslim community in South Asia. [94] [95]

The inhibitions, caused by a series of Chera-Chola wars in the 11th century, resulted in the decline of foreign trade in Kerala ports. Buddhism and Jainism disappeared from the land. The Kulasekhara dynasty was finally subjugated in 1102 by the combined attack of the Pandyas and Cholas. [83] However, in the 14th century, Ravi Varma Kulashekhara (1299–1314) of the southern Venad kingdom was able to establish a short-lived supremacy over southern India. [ citation needed ] After his death, in the absence of strong central power, the state was fractured into about thirty small warring principalities under Nair Chieftains the most powerful of them were the kingdom of Samuthiri in the north, Venad in the south and Kochi in the middle. [96] [97] The port at Kozhikode held the superior economic and political position in Kerala, while Kollam (Quilon), Kochi, and Kannur (Cannanore) were commercially confined to secondary roles. [98]

Rise of Advaita Edit

Adi Shankara (CE 789), one of the greatest Indian philosophers, is believed to be born in Kaladi in Kerala, and consolidated the doctrine of advaita vedānta. [99] [100] Shankara travelled across the Indian subcontinent to propagate his philosophy through discourses and debates with other thinkers. He is reputed to have founded four mathas ("monasteries"), which helped in the historical development, revival and spread of Advaita Vedanta. [100] Adi Shankara is believed to be the organiser of the Dashanami monastic order and the founder of the Shanmatatradition of worship.

His works in Sanskrit concern themselves with establishing the doctrine of advaita (nondualism). He also established the importance of monastic life as sanctioned in the Upanishads and Brahma Sutra, in a time when the Mimamsa school established strict ritualism and ridiculed monasticism. Shankara represented his works as elaborating on ideas found in the Upanishads, and he wrote copious commentaries on the Vedic canon (Brahma Sutra, principal upanishads and Bhagavad Gita) in support of his thesis. The main opponent in his work is the Mimamsa school of thought, though he also offers arguments against the views of some other schools like Samkhya and certain schools of Buddhism. [101] [102] [103] His activities in Kerala was little and no evidence of his influence is noticed in the literature or other things in his lifetime in Kerala. Even though Sankara was against all caste systems, in later years his name was used extensively by the Brahmins of Kerala for establishing caste system in Kerala. [ dubious – discuss ]

Kingdom of Kozhikode Edit

Historical records regarding the origin of the Samoothiri of Kozhikode is obscure. However, its generally agreed that the Samoothiri were originally the Nair chieftains of Eralnadu region of the Later Chera Kingdom and were known as the Eradis. [104] Eralnadu (Eranad) province was situated in the northern parts of present-day Malappuram district and was landlocked by the Valluvanad and Polanadu in the west. Legends such as Keralolpathi tell the establishment of a local ruling family at Nediyiruppu, near present-day Kondotty by two young brothers belonging to the Eradi clan. The brothers, Manikkan and Vikraman were the most trusted generals in the army of the Cheras. [105] [106] M.G.S. Narayanan, a Kerala-based historian, in his book, Calicut: The City of Truth states that the Eradi was a favourite of the last Later Chera king and granted him, as a mark of favor, a small tract of land on the sea-coast in addition to his hereditary possessions (Eralnadu province). Eradis subsequently moved their capital to the coastal marshy lands and established the kingdom of Kozhikode [107] They later assumed the title of Samudrāthiri ("one who has the sea for his border") and continued to rule from Kozhikode.

Samoothiri allied with Muslim Arab and Chinese merchants and used most of the wealth from Kozhikode to develop his military power. They became the most powerful king in the Malayalam speaking regions during the Middle Ages. In the 14th century, Kozhikode conquered large parts of central Kerala following the seize of Tirunavaya from Valluvanad, which was under the control of the king of Perumbadappu Swaroopam. He was forced to shift his capital (c. CE 1405) further south from Kodungallur to Kochi. In the 15th century, Cochin was reduced in to a vassal state of Kozhikode. The ruler of Kolathunadu (Kannur) had also came under the influence of Zamorin by the end of 15th century. [3]

At the peak of their reign, the Zamorins of Kozhikode ruled over a region from Kollam (Quilon) in the south to Panthalayini Kollam (Koyilandy) in the north. [108] [109] Ibn Battuta (1342–1347), who visited the city of Kozhikode six times, gives the earliest glimpses of life in the city. He describes Kozhikode as "one of the great ports of the district of Malabar" where "merchants of all parts of the world are found". The king of this place, he says, "shaves his chin just as the Haidari Fakeers of Rome do. The greater part of the Muslim merchants of this place are so wealthy that one of them can purchase the whole freightage of such vessels put here and fit-out others like them". [110] Ma Huan (1403 AD), the Chinese sailor part of the Imperial Chinese fleet under Cheng Ho (Zheng He) [111] states the city as a great emporium of trade frequented by merchants from around the world. He makes note of the 20 or 30 mosques built to cater to the religious needs of the Muslims, the unique system of calculation by the merchants using their fingers and toes (followed to this day), and the matrilineal system of succession. Abdur Razzak (1442–43), Niccolò de' Conti (1445), Afanasy Nikitin (1468–74), Ludovico di Varthema (1503–1508), and Duarte Barbosa witnessed the city as one of the major trading centres in the Indian subcontinent where traders from different parts of the world could be seen. [112] [113]

The king Deva Raya II (1424–1446) of the Vijayanagara Empire conquered about the whole of present-day state of Kerala in the 15th century. [109] He defeated the Zamorin of Kozhikode, as well as the ruler of Kollam around 1443. [109] Fernão Nunes says that the Zamorin had to pay tribute to the king of Vijayanagara Empire. [109] Later Kozhikode and Venad seem to have rebelled against their Vijayanagara overlords, but Deva Raya II quelled the rebellion. [109] As the Vijayanagara power diminished over the next fifty years, the Zamorin of Kozhikode again rose to prominence in Kerala. [109] He built a fort at Ponnani in 1498. [109]

Kingdom of Venad Edit

Venad was a kingdom in the south west tip of Kerala, which acted as a buffer between Cheras and Pandyas. Until the end of the 11th century, it was a small principality in the Ay Kingdom. The Ays were the earliest ruling dynasty in southern Kerala, who, at their zenith, ruled over a region from Nagercoil in the south to Thiruvananthapuram in the north. Their capital was at Kollam. A series of attacks by the Pandyas between the 7th and 8th centuries caused the decline of Ays although the dynasty remained powerful until the beginning of the 10th century. [40] When Ay power diminished, Venad became the southernmost principality of the Second Chera Kingdom [114] Invasion of Cholas into Venad caused the destruction of Kollam in 1096. However, the Chera capital, Mahodayapuram, fell in the subsequent attack, which compelled the Chera king, Rama varma Kulasekara, to shift his capital to Kollam. [115] Thus, Rama Varma Kulasekara, the last emperor of Chera dynasty, is probably the founder of the Venad royal house, and the title of Chera kings, Kulasekara, was thenceforth adopted by the rulers of Venad. The end of Second Chera dynasty in the 12th century marks the independence of the Venad. [116] The Venadu King then also was known as Venadu Mooppil Nayar.

In the second half of the 12th century, two branches of the Ay Dynasty: Thrippappur and Chirava, merged into the Venad family and established the tradition of designating the ruler of Venad as Chirava Moopan and the heir-apparent as Thrippappur Moopan. While Chrirava Moopan had his residence at Kollam, the Thrippappur Moopan resided at his palace in Thrippappur, 9 miles (14 km) north of Thiruvananthapuram, and was vested with the authority over the temples of Venad kingdom, especially the Sri Padmanabhaswamy temple. [114] The most powerful kingdom of Kerala during the colonial period, Travancore, was developed through the expansion of Venad by Mahahrajah Marthanda Varma, a member of the Thrippappur branch of the Ay Dynasty who ascended to the throne in the 18th century.

Kingdom of Kolathunadu Edit

The ancient kingdom of Ezhimala had jurisdiction over the North Malabar which consisted of two Nadus (regions)- The coastal Poozhinadu and the hilly eastern Karkanadu. According to the works of Sangam literature, Poozhinadu consisted much of the coastal belt between Mangalore and Kozhikode. [117] Karkanadu consisted of Wayanad-Gudalur hilly region with parts of Kodagu (Coorg). [118] It is said that Nannan, the most renowned ruler of Ezhimala dynasty, took refuge at Wayanad hills in 5th century CE when he was lost to Cheras, just before his execution in a battle, according to the Sangam works. [118] Ezhimala kingdom was succeeded by Mushika dynasty in the early medival period, most possibly due to the migration of Tuluva Brahmins from Tulu Nadu. The Mushika-vamsha Mahakavya, written by Athula in the 11th century, throws light on the recorded past of the Mushika Royal Family up until that point. [119] The Indian anthropologist Ayinapalli Aiyappan states that a powerful and warlike clan of the Bunt community of Tulu Nadu was called Kola Bari and the Kolathiri Raja of Kolathunadu was a descendant of this clan. [120]

The kingdom of Kolathunadu, who were the descendants of Mushika dynasty, at the peak of its power reportedly extended from Netravati River (Mangalore) in the north [119] to Korapuzha (Kozhikode) in the south with Arabian Sea on the west and Kodagu hills on the eastern boundary, also including the isolated islands of Lakshadweep in Arabian Sea. [117] An Old Malayalam inscription (Ramanthali inscriptions), dated to 1075 CE, mentioning king Kunda Alupa, the ruler of Alupa dynasty of Mangalore, can be found at Ezhimala near Kannur. [121] The Arabic inscription on a copper slab within the Madayi Mosque in Kannur records its foundation year as 1124 CE. [122] In his book on travels (Il Milione), Marco Polo recounts his visit to the area in mid 1290s. Other visitors included Faxian, the Buddhist pilgrim and Ibn Batuta, writer and historian of Tangiers. The Kolathunadu in the late medieval period emerged into independent 10 principalities i.e., Kadathanadu (Vadakara), Randathara or Poyanad (Dharmadom), Kottayam (Thalassery), Nileshwaram, Iruvazhinadu (Panoor), Kurumbranad etc., under separate royal chieftains due to the outcome of internal dissensions. [123] The Nileshwaram dynasty on the northernmost part of Kolathiri dominion, were relatives to both Kolathunadu as well as the Zamorin of Calicut, in the early medieval period. [124] The kingdom of Kumbla in the northernmost region of the modern state of Kerala, who had jurisdiction over the Taluks of Manjeshwar and Kasaragod, and parts of Mangalore in Southern Tulu Nadu, were also vassals to the kingdom of Kolathunadu until the Carnatic conquests of 15th century CE. [119]

According to Kerala Muslim tradition, the North Malabar region was also home to several oldest mosques in Indian subcontinent. According to the Legend of Cheraman Perumals, the first Indian mosque was built in 624 AD at Kodungallur with the mandate of the last the ruler (the Cheraman Perumal) of Chera dynasty, who left from Dharmadom near Kannur to Mecca and converted to Islam during the lifetime of Prophet Muhammad (c. 570–632). [125] [126] [94] [127] According to Qissat Shakarwati Farmad, the Masjids at Kodungallur, Kollam, Madayi, Barkur, Mangalore, Kasaragod, Kannur, Dharmadam, Panthalayani, and Chaliyam, were built during the era of Malik Dinar, and they are among the oldest Masjids in Indian Subcontinent. [128] It is believed that Malik Dinar was died at Thalangara in Kasaragod town. [129] The Koyilandy Jumu'ah Mosque in the erstwhile Kolathunadu contains an Old Malayalam inscription written in a mixture of Vatteluttu and Grantha scripts which dates back to 10th century CE. [130] It is a rare surviving document recording patronage by a Hindu king (Bhaskara Ravi) to the Muslims of Kerala. [130]

The maritime spice trade monopoly in the Indian Ocean stayed with the Arabs during the High and Late Middle Ages. However, the dominance of Middle East traders was challenged in the European Age of Discovery. After Vasco Da Gama's arrival in Kappad Kozhikode in 1498, the Portuguese began to dominate eastern shipping, and the spice-trade in particular. [131] [132] [133] Following the discovery of sea route from Europe to Malabar in 1498, the Portuguese began to expand their territories and ruled the seas between Ormus and the Malabar Coast and south to Ceylon. [134] [135]

Portuguese period Edit

Vasco da Gama was sent by the King of Portugal Dom Manuel I and landed at Kozhikode in 1497-1499. [136] The Samoothiri Maharaja of Kozhikode permitted the Portuguese to trade with his subjects. Their trade in Kozhikode prospered with the establishment of a factory and fort in his territory. However, Portuguese attacks on Arab properties in his jurisdiction provoked the Samoothiri and finally led to conflict. The ruler of the Kingdom of Tanur, who was a vassal to the Zamorin of Calicut, sided with the Portuguese, against his overlord at Kozhikode. [3] As a result, the Kingdom of Tanur (Vettathunadu) became one of the earliest Portuguese Colonies in India. The ruler of Tanur also sided with Cochin. [3] Many of the members of the royal family of Cochin in 16th and 17th centuries were selected from Vettom. [3] However, the Tanur forces under the king fought for the Zamorin of Calicut in the Battle of Cochin (1504). [123] However, the allegiance of the Mappila merchants in Tanur region still stayed under the Zamorin of Calicut. [137]

The Portuguese took advantage of the rivalry between the Samoothiri and Rajah of Kochi—they allied with Kochi and when Francisco de Almeida was appointed Viceroy of Portuguese India in 1505, he established his headquarters at Kochi. During his reign, the Portuguese managed to dominate relations with Kochi and established a number of fortresses along the Malabar Coast. [138] Nonetheless, the Portuguese suffered severe setbacks due to attacks by Samoothiri Maharaja's forces, especially naval attacks under the leadership of admirals of Kozhikode known as Kunjali Marakkars, which compelled them to seek a treaty. The Kunjali Marakkars are credited with organizing the first naval defense of the Indian coast. [139] [140] Tuhfat Ul Mujahideen written by Zainuddin Makhdoom II (born around 1532) of Ponnani in 16th-century CE is the first-ever known book fully based on the history of Kerala, written by a Keralite. [141] [142] [143] It is written in Arabic and contains pieces of information about the resistance put up by the navy of Kunjali Marakkar alongside the Zamorin of Calicut from 1498 to 1583 against Portuguese attempts to colonize Malabar coast. [143] [141] Thunchaththu Ezhuthachan, who is considered as the father of modern Malayalam literature, was born at Tirur (Vettathunadu) during Portuguese period. [3] The medieval Kerala school of astronomy and mathematics that flourished between the 14th and 16th centuries, was also primarily based in Vettathunadu (Tirur region) [144] [145]

The St. Angelo Fort at Kannur was built by the Portuguese in 1505, which was later captured by Dutch and Arakkal kingdom. [146] The Portuguese Cemetery, Kollam (after the invasion of Dutch, it became Dutch Cemetery) of Tangasseri in Kollam city was constructed in around 1519 as part of the Portuguese invasion in the city. Buckingham Canal (a small canal between Tangasseri Lighthouse and the cemetery) is situated very close to the Portuguese Cemetery. [147] [148] A group of pirates known as the Pirates of Tangasseri formerly lived at the Cemetery. [149] The remnants of St. Thomas Fort and Portuguese Cemetery still exist at Tangasseri. The Muslim line of Ali Rajas of Arakkal kingdom, near Kannur, who were the vassals of the Kolathiri, ruled over the Lakshadweep islands. [150] The Bekal Fort near Kasaragod, which is also largest fort in the state, was built in 1650 by Shivappa Nayaka of Keladi. [151]

French Region in Kerala Edit

The French East India Company constructed a fort on the site of Mahé in 1724, in accordance with an accord concluded between André Mollandin and Raja Vazhunnavar of Badagara three years earlier. In 1741, Mahé de La Bourdonnais retook the town after a period of occupation by the Marathas.

In 1761 the British captured Mahé, India, and the settlement was handed over to the Rajah of Kadathanadu. The British restored Mahé, India to the French as a part of the 1763 Treaty of Paris. In 1779, the Anglo-French war broke out, resulting in the French loss of Mahé, India. In 1783, the British agreed to restore to the French their settlements in India, and Mahé, India was handed over to the French in 1785. [152]

Dutch period Edit

In 1602, the Zamorin sent messages to Aceh promising the Dutch a fort at Kozhikode if they would come and trade there. Two factors, Hans de Wolff and Lafer, were sent on an Asian ship from Aceh, but the two were captured by the chief of Tanur, and handed over to the Portuguese. [153] A Dutch fleet under Admiral Steven van der Hagen arrived at Kozhikode in November 1604. It marked the beginning of the Dutch presence in Kerala and they concluded a treaty with Kozhikode on 11 November 1604, which was also the first treaty that the Dutch East India Company made with an Indian ruler. [3] By this time the kingdom and the port of Kozhikode was much reduced in importance. [153] The treaty provided for a mutual alliance between the two to expel the Portuguese from Malabar. In return the Dutch East India Company was given facilities for trade at Kozhikode and Ponnani, including spacious storehouses. [153]

The weakened Portuguese were ousted by the Dutch East India Company, who took advantage of continuing conflicts between Kozhikode and Kochi to gain control of the trade. In 1664, the municipality of Fort Kochi was established by Dutch Malabar, making it the first municipality in Indian subcontinent, which got dissolved when the Dutch authority got weaker in 18th century. [154] The Dutch Malabar (1661–1795) in turn were weakened by their constant battles with Marthanda Varma of the Travancore Royal Family, and were defeated at the Battle of Colachel in 1741, resulting in the complete eclipse of Dutch power in Malabar. The Treaty of Mavelikkara was signed by the Dutch and Travancore in 1753, according to which the Dutch were compelled to detach from all political involvements in the region. In the meantime, Marthanda Varma annexed many smaller northern kingdoms through military conquests, resulting in the rise of Travancore to a position of preeminence in Kerala. [155] Travancore became the most dominant state in Kerala by defeating the powerful Zamorin of Kozhikode in the battle of Purakkad in 1755. [156] In 1757, to check the invasion of the Zamorin of Calicut, the Palakkad Raja sought the help of Hyder Ali of Mysore. In 1766, Haider Ali of Mysore defeated the Samoothiri of Kozhikode – an East India Company ally at the time – and absorbed Kozhikode to his state. [157]

British period Edit

The arrival of British on Malabar Coast can be traced back to the year 1615, when a group under the leadership of Captain William Keeling arrived at Kozhikode, using three ships. [3] It was in these ships that Sir Thomas Roe went to visit Jahangir, the fourth Mughal emperor, as British envoy. [3] The island of Dharmadom near Kannur, along with Thalassery, was ceded to the East India Company as early as 1734, which were claimed by all of the Kolattu Rajas, Kottayam Rajas, and Arakkal Bibi in the late medieval period, where the British initiated a factory and English settlement following the cession. [158] [123] The smaller princely states in northern and north-central parts of Kerala (Malabar region) including Kolathunadu, Kottayam, Kadathanadu, Kozhikode, Tanur, Valluvanad, and Palakkad were unified under the rulers of Mysore and were made a part of the larger Kingdom of Mysore in the latter half of 18th century CE. Hyder Ali and his successor, Tipu Sultan, came into conflict with the British, leading to the four Anglo-Mysore wars fought across southern India. Tipu Sultan ceded Malabar District to the British in 1792 as a result of the Third Anglo-Mysore War and the subsequent Treaty of Seringapatam, and South Kanara, which included present-day Kasargod District, in 1799. The British concluded treaties of subsidiary alliance with the rulers of Cochin (1791) and Travancore (1795), and these became princely states of British India, maintaining local autonomy in return for a fixed annual tribute to the British. Malabar and South Kanara districts were part of British India's Madras Presidency.

Kerala Varma Pazhassi Raja (Kerul Varma Pyche Rajah, Cotiote Rajah) (3 January 1753 – 30 November 1805) was the Prince Regent and the de facto ruler of the Kingdom of Kottayam in Malabar, India between 1774 and 1805. He led the Pychy Rebellion (Wynaad Insurrection, Coiote War) against the English East India Company. He is popularly known as Kerala Simham (Lion of Kerala). The municipalities of Kozhikode, Palakkad, Fort Kochi, Kannur, and Thalassery, were founded on 1 November 1866 [159] [160] [161] [162] of the British Indian Empire, making them the first modern municipalities in the state of Kerala.

Organised expressions of discontent with British rule were not uncommon in Kerala. Uprisings of note include the rebellion by Pazhassi Raja, Velu Thampi Dalawa and the Punnapra-Vayalar revolt of 1946. The Malabar Special Police was formed by the colonial government in 1884 headquartered at Malappuram. [163] There were major revolts in Kerala during the independence movement in the 20th century most notable among them is the 1921 Malabar Rebellion and the social struggles in Travancore. In the Malabar Rebellion, Mappila Muslims of Malabar rebelled against the British Raj. [164] The Battle of Pookkottur adorns an important role in the rebellion. [165] Some social struggles against caste inequalities also erupted in the early decades of 20th century, leading to the 1936 Temple Entry Proclamation that opened Hindu temples in Travancore to all castes. [166] Kerala also witnessed several social reforms movements directed at the eradication of social evils such as untouchability among the Hindus, pioneered by reformists like Srinarayana guru and Chattambiswami among others. The non-violent and largely peaceful Vaikom Satyagraha of 1924 was instrumental in securing entry to the public roads adjacent to the Vaikom temple for people belonging to untouchable castes. In 1936, Sree Chithira Thirunal Balaramavarma, the ruler of Travancore, issued the Temple Entry Proclamation, declaring the temples of his kingdom open to all Hindu worshipers, irrespective of caste.

Formation of Kerala state Edit

The two kingdoms of Travancore and Cochin joined the Union of India after independence in 1947. On 1 July 1949, the two states were merged to form Travancore-Cochin. On 1 January 1950, Travancore-Cochin was recognised as a state. The Madras Presidency was reorganised to form Madras State in 1947.

On 1 November 1956, the state of Kerala was formed by the States Reorganisation Act merging the Malabar District (excluding the islands of Lakshadweep), Travancore-Cochin (excluding four southern taluks, which were merged with Tamil Nadu), and the taluk of Kasargod, South Kanara. [167] [168] In 1957, elections for the new Kerala Legislative Assembly were held, and a reformist, Communist-led government came to power, under E. M. S. Namboodiripad. [168] It was the first time a Communist government was democratically elected to power anywhere in the world. It initiated pioneering land reforms, aiming to lowering of rural poverty in Kerala. However, these reforms were largely non-effective to mark a greater change in the society as these changes were not effected to a large extend. Lakhs of farms were owned by large establishments, companies and estate owners. They were not affected by this move and this was considered as a treachery as these companies and estates were formed by and during the British rule. Two things were the real reason for the reduction of poverty in Kerala one was the policy for wide scale education and second was the overseas migration for labour to Middle east and other countries. [169] [170]

Liberation struggle Edit

It refused to nationalise the large estates but did provide reforms to protect manual labourers and farm workers, and invited capitalists to set up industry. Much more controversial was an effort to impose state control on private schools, such as those run by the Christians and the NSS, which enrolled 40% of the students. The Christians, NSS and Namputhiris and the Congress Party protested, with demonstrations numbering in the tens and hundreds of thousands of people. The government controlled the police, which made 150,000 arrests (often the same people arrested time and again), and used 248 lathi charges to beat back the demonstrators, killing twenty. The opposition called on Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru to seize control of the state government. Nehru was reluctant but when his daughter Indira Gandhi, the national head of the Congress Party, joined in, he finally did so. New elections in 1959 cost the Communists most of their seats and Congress resumed control. [171]

Coalition politics Edit

Later in 1967-82 Kerala elected a series of leftist coalition governments the most stable was that led by Achutha Menon from 1969 to 1977. [172]

From 1967 to 1970, Kunnikkal Narayanan led a Naxalite movement in Kerala. The theoretical difference in the communist party, i.e. CPM is the part of the uprising of Naxalbari movement in Bengal which leads to the formation of CPI(ML) in India. Due to ideological differences the CPI-ML split into several groups. Some groups choose to participate peacefully in electoralism, while some choose to aim for violent revolution. The violence alienated public opinion. [173]

The political alliance have strongly stabilised in such a manner that, with rare exceptions, most of the coalition partners stick their loyalty to the alliance. As a result, to this, ever since 1979, the power has been clearly alternating between these two fronts without any change. Politics in Kerala is characterised by continually shifting alliances, party mergers and splits, factionalism within the coalitions and within political parties, and numerous splinter groups. [174]

Modern politics in Kerala is dominated by two political fronts: the Communist-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) and the Indian National Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) since the late 1970s. These two parties have alternating in power since 1982. Most of the major political parties in Kerala, except for Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), belong to one or the other of these two alliances, often shifting allegiances a number of time. [174] As of the 2021 Kerala Legislative Assembly election, the LDF has a majority in the state assembly seats (99/140).

A scratched technique

There are various surviving documents from the Mermaid expedition, such as log books, day books, journals, watercolours, and coastal views. Interestingly, in their writings, King, midshipman John Septimus Roe and Cunningham all neglect to mention the engravings, and they did not mention making this image of their ship. We are confident the ship was not made by Yaburara people, as the scratched technique used is very different to the surrounding Yaburara engravings.

A) line drawing (by Ken Mulvaney), b) The ship engraving, Enderby Island, c) King’s detailed section of the Mermaid (Phillip Parker King, ‘Album of drawings and engravings’, Mitchell Library, PXC767)
Courtesy: Murujuga Dynamics of the Dreaming ARC Project.

While our investigation suggests that a metal tool was not used to make the image, the imagery – which demonstrates detailed knowledge of the ship’s rigging and proportions, and the inclusions of water in this “sketch” of the craft, leads us to the conclusion that this ship was sketched on the day that the crew of the Mermaid visited this area.

So, who made the image? We really don’t know (but do have some ideas).

The artist clearly knew the ship in great detail. The similarities to the Mermaid are profound, allowing us to rule out other possible vessels to visit the islands in later years such as two-masted whaling barques and pearling ships.

Both King and Roe made many images in their records of the Mermaid – was this one of theirs? Perhaps another unnamed crew member got involved. Perhaps Boongaree was impressed by the extensive rock art legacy that he encountered. Being from Sydney with a similarly rich rock art heritage – which includes the depiction of post-contact sailing ships – perhaps he depicted what was by then utterly familiar to him – a tiny sailing ship on a voyage across the unknown seas.

Whoever’s hand, if this is the Mermaid, as we argue, this new finding is of nautical and historical significance to Australia and Britain as well as being significant to the Aboriginal people of the west Pilbara.

America&aposs Ancestors

fran rooks from Toledo, Ohio on April 28, 2020:

What a tremendous and exciting article. You wrote an in-depth, and I concur that so many unknowns have been hidden. Especially about giants discovered in America. How much else is kept from the public? I remember the author Clive Cussler authoring a book about King Soloman&aposs Mine. Was it truth or fiction?

You did a lot of research for your article, and it shows. Great piece!

Marc Hubs from United Kingdom on November 02, 2019:

I&aposve had a long break from reading and writing so I missed this when you first published it.

This is an intriguing topic which I have a strong interest in due to Freemasonry (as you know, I became a mason 20 years ago) which is themed on King Solomon&aposs temple, the architecture and Hiram Abif.

I&aposm going to come back to this article again and read it through properly a few times.

Pamela J. on February 03, 2018:

Way to expose the exact point in HIS-TORY&apos, when the Lying and Genocide&aposs, and Ritual Sacrifice, come in to play with the, Johnny come lately&apos, Crusader&aposs, actually came late to the party, to the Americas&apos, and at what Time Period&aposs, of the Old Empires, that the Take-Over&aposs, of all of Humanity, and the connected, Harmonic, Universes, actually began.

Some of this Story of Truth, was confirmed by two Zetas&apos who were both Officers, and Scientists, whose, Galactic, Job it is/was, to study the Green Terra (Earth Momma Turtle), These Alien&aposs, were Shot Down&apos, Richard Dolan, out of the Summer skies, in 47&apos Roswell NM, and that is Fact, according to Philip Corso&aposs, book, which was both Truth, and lies, just like TPTB, all do, tell the Truth, along with the lie&aposs.

Roswell, Alien&aposs, also included, another Zeta, named, &aposBEK Ti&apos, Robert Morning Sky&aposs, Grandfather&aposs, Vision Quest&apos, finding&aposs, in the desert, by the Navaho, and the Zuni/Hopituh, who live in the 4 Corner&aposs Region, of the planet, who said much of the same thing&aposs, about our Origin&aposs Stories, as have been revealed, in this Amazing, Article, I must say .

Name changings from the Ancient Greeks&apos is a huge red, flag.

Also the Give, and Take&apos is the Looshe, FEEDING, the Lizard&aposs, their needed, Blood Sacrifices, to the Snake Priests who needed that Looshe, Prana, Life Force, to be sustained with sadly, and so much of the Legends, have been amalgamated, and mixed up over the years, with the Smithsonian, spinning the Tale&aposs, even thou we Cree Ojibway did not leave the forests, nor the Great Spirit&aposs, willingly, as we either left by DEATH/GENOCIDES, or by systematic, ritual, Black Magick, that has been being used, by Occultists, who practice it, and those, so Evil, one could pinch them , and they would, not even feel it.

We are leaving the World of Darkness, Blue, and many from other places, are here just watching it all go down, on the Center World, Stage.

There are Sky Ship&aposs, as big as Africa, above our head&aposs, that remain Hidden, Cloaked, until we Earth Surface, Dweller&aposs, get with the program, and cease, the destruction&aposs, of ourselves, and the Waterworld, Called Little Blue&apos by some off Worlder&aposs.

In other words the feedings of the one&aposs controlled, by the old rogue AI&apos, was already in full swing, 6700 years ago, and that is about when most Sleeper, Isbe&aposs, think the world began sadly. Peace Brother Chaos, my entire Life Journey, provided lesson&aposs, and Rabbit Hole&aposs, for me/us, to go down, in our Knowledge Quests&apos, so we could handle this most precious, messages&apos that Humanity needs to digest, before we can move fully to the NEW FIFTH WORLD/CHAPTER, in the Age of Aquarius&apos I mean.

Beware the Seeking, lest you become the Sought&apos. G.g

somethgblue (author) from Shelbyville, Tennessee on February 01, 2018:

From the feed back I have been getting it seems very likely that the name Solomon could be just another King name, so the name King Solomon would be redundant.

The question it raises is just who was "King Solomon", another Roman Emperor? The possibilities are intriguing to say the least.

All this article has done for me is . . . really lead me to more questions and research. However I would like to explore the Celtic and Norse influence in North America as well as the history of the Moors, we shall see where that leads . . . stay tuned!

Jose g. Angel on February 01, 2018:

It is very close to the maintream in books about atlantis and Fenitians sailors, agree with almost everything. Very good.

somethgblue (author) from Shelbyville, Tennessee on January 31, 2018:

We&aposll have to talk more about that, I think I could easily write a book now . . .

Nadine May from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa on January 31, 2018:

Wow Daniel that was truly an interesting read that took me the whole evening. You could save it as an ebook. You have taken the reader on a fascinating historical journey. Loved your photo of Lady of Elche in relation to Princess Leia. I&aposm sure more and more discoveries will come to light and historians and many other so-called experts will have a difficult time adjusting to students that have awakened enough to be influenced by the outdated textbooks. We live in interesting times

somethgblue (author) from Shelbyville, Tennessee on January 31, 2018:

Mactavers it is the longest hub I have ever written and probably should have been broken up into two or three.

Thanks, Pamela for the nod with such a great company of some of my favorite authors, some whom I used to research this article.

Thank you Lydia for reading, I hope I provided enough links so you will do your own research, it is a fascinating subject.

Lydia L. on January 31, 2018:

Very interesting article. It makes me want to go out and research some of this myself. Thank you for all the hard work and long hours.

Pamela J. on January 31, 2018:

Incredible, Article with no stone left unturned Blue.

Amazing culmination, of research, thought&aposs, and ideas. Way to think out side the prison, of lies, and way to think with your heart, and your Knowledge.

Knowledge oft times begins to Seek, the Seeker&apos, just like Preston Nichol&aposs, and Robert Temple, and Robert Morning Sky, and Peter Moon, all found out when they went after the Truth, not written about nor known, about by the Sleeper&aposs, in our True Origin, stories.

These above, aforementioned, Seers&apos, and Thinker&aposs went over and above the so called, common, Truths&apos, Knowledge&apos, that is not found in HIS-STORY Book&aposs, which were always written by the VICTOR&aposs, sadly until NOW. Woohoo! Cheers!

Cool Beans&apos Daniel, love&aposs it!

mactavers on January 31, 2018:

This is the longest Hub I&aposve ever read, and it&aposs very well done. You need to visit Chaco Canyon, the most ancient, interesting and Mystical place in the Southwest.