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Ancient Maritime Sea Route: Egypt-India-China


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#1    Abramelin

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 12:11 PM

Anyone ever heard of this site and its theory about contacts between Egypt and China??

Well, it's an interesting read, that's for sure:

The Ancient Maritime Sea Route  250 BC - 250 AD
http://nabataea.net/msroute.html


During the period between 250 BC and 250 AD, a maritime sea route existed between Alexandra in Northern Africa and China. As trade took place along this route, a number of kingdoms rose to power, flush with finances from trade. These kingdoms all came into being around the same time, and all waned around the same time. The map below illustrates the route. Arab and Indian dhows sailed down the Red Sea to Palk Bay in Sri Lanka. Indian dhows traveled from India as far as Malacca where they met Chinese junks. Some Chinese junks traveled as far as Sri Lanka where they met Arabs. Individual sections of this ancient maritime trade route are dealt with in detail through the menus below. To visit the various kingdoms, click on their location on the map.

Attached File  Ancient_Maritime_Sea_Route.jpg   49.46K   25 downloads


#2    questionmark

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 01:11 PM

I have not heard about it and my knowledge was that the Far East trade was done along the Silk Road at the time. Having said that, we know that there were at least some legs where trade went port to port from the Arabian Peninsula and Persia. There is no reason to suppose that Persia and India did not trade via coastal vessels and so on.

In lieu of documentation showing a "trade route" we cannot exclude that trade happened that way.

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#3    Abramelin

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 01:17 PM

View Postquestionmark, on 05 April 2012 - 01:11 PM, said:

I have not heard about it and my knowledge was that the Far East trade was done along the Silk Road at the time. Having said that, we know that there were at least some legs where trade went port to port from the Arabian Peninsula and Persia. There is no reason to suppose that Persia and India did not trade via coastal vessels and so on.

In lieu of documentation showing a "trade route" we cannot exclude that trade happened that way.

I also thought about the Silk Road, but look here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silk_Road

It appears to be common knowledge, lol.


#4    questionmark

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 01:22 PM

View PostAbramelin, on 05 April 2012 - 01:17 PM, said:

I also thought about the Silk Road, but look here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silk_Road

It appears to be common knowledge, lol.

Looks like we only read half of what we should :blush:...

Problem here seems to be the association,road sounds like land, not like water...

Edit, coming to think of it, the maritime road is documented in Casson, Lionel. 1989. The Periplus Maris Erythraei. Text with Introduction, Translation, and Commentary. Princeton University Press.

I guess that is how Alzheimer's starts :wacko:


Edited by questionmark, 05 April 2012 - 01:25 PM.

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#5    Abramelin

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 01:41 PM

View Postquestionmark, on 05 April 2012 - 01:22 PM, said:

Looks like we only read half of what we should :blush:...

Problem here seems to be the association,road sounds like land, not like water...

Edit, coming to think of it, the maritime road is documented in Casson, Lionel. 1989. The Periplus Maris Erythraei. Text with Introduction, Translation, and Commentary. Princeton University Press.

I guess that is how Alzheimer's starts :wacko:

But did Egyptian artifacts show up in China and visa versa? Well, yeah, maybe I should read all of that webiste I linked to.

What's interesting is that the socalled "Great White Pyramid" in China dates from that period.

Posted Image

Unlike the pyramids of Egypt with their carefully carved and fitted stones, Maoling Mausoleum is composed of densely packed earth. It stands as the largest and most impressive of 11 Western-Han imperial mausoleums and is the final resting place of Emperor Liu Che (also known as Wu Di) who reigned from 157-87 BC, making the tomb over 2000 years old. Chinese history tells us the tomb took 53 years to complete and was filled with precious burial objects, some of which have avoided the plundering of grave robbers and are on display at a nearby museum.

http://www.unexplain...th.com/xian.php

Although it's not necessary that Egyptian ships reached China or visa versa, Egyptians/Chinese could have travelled as passengers all along this route, and maybe they were not only merchants but also architects and technicians?

.

Edited by Abramelin, 05 April 2012 - 01:54 PM.


#6    questionmark

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 02:20 PM

View PostAbramelin, on 05 April 2012 - 01:41 PM, said:

But did Egyptian artifacts show up in China and visa versa? Well, yeah, maybe I should read all of that webiste I linked to.

What's interesting is that the socalled "Great White Pyramid" in China dates from that period.

Posted Image

Unlike the pyramids of Egypt with their carefully carved and fitted stones, Maoling Mausoleum is composed of densely packed earth. It stands as the largest and most impressive of 11 Western-Han imperial mausoleums and is the final resting place of Emperor Liu Che (also known as Wu Di) who reigned from 157-87 BC, making the tomb over 2000 years old. Chinese history tells us the tomb took 53 years to complete and was filled with precious burial objects, some of which have avoided the plundering of grave robbers and are on display at a nearby museum.

http://www.unexplain...th.com/xian.php

Although it's not necessary that Egyptian ships reached China or visa versa, Egyptians/Chinese could have travelled as passengers all along this route, and maybe they were not only merchants but also architects and technicians?

.

Off hand I don't know about any early contact between Chinese and Egyptians but we know of contacts between Chinese and Persians. As far as the pyramidal form of the burial site: Any building large enough of that time would have had to be a pyramid or a cone, architecture was not yet developed enough to master the static requirements for other forms. They could have gotten to the conclusion without outside interference.

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#7    Abramelin

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 02:35 PM

View Postquestionmark, on 05 April 2012 - 02:20 PM, said:

Off hand I don't know about any early contact between Chinese and Egyptians but we know of contacts between Chinese and Persians. As far as the pyramidal form of the burial site: Any building large enough of that time would have had to be a pyramid or a cone, architecture was not yet developed enough to master the static requirements for other forms. They could have gotten to the conclusion without outside interference.

Yeah, I know that a huge symmetrical structure made of stone, brick or clay would automatically get a pyramidal shape.

But these Chinese pyramids resemble the Egyptian pyramids much more than any Sumerian or Meso American pyramid. The Chinese pyramids were made with compacted earth/clay so they could have been round/conical in shape instead, like those in England (Salisbury??).

I thought it was an interesting coincidence that the Chinese started building these pyramids during the period they may have been (indirectly?) in contact with the Egyptians, maybe during the Ptolemaic dynasty.

.

Edited by Abramelin, 05 April 2012 - 02:48 PM.


#8    lightly

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 06:16 PM

I always thought it an interesting 'coincidence'  that the layouts are more than a little similar.   Both are aligned cardinally as well...but not the same layout cardinally?
Attached File  xian:giza.jpg   52.11K   16 downloads

Important:  The above may contain errors, inaccuracies, omissions, and other limitations.

#9    kmt_sesh

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 06:40 PM

Alexander's campaigns in the Indus Valley were the first real contact between Mediterranean cultures and the westernmost spheres of India's influence. Alexander never marched into India proper, and in fact the Greeks didn't really understand what India was: one of Alexander's goals in moving ever eastward was to find the great ocean that Greeks thought lay in that vicinity, so imagine his surprise upon finding only more land, and more land, and more land. Had Alexander's army not refused to go on it's more than likely he would've continued into India, but he never did. That being the case, however, his campaigns resulted in some degree of formalized contact between West and East. Greek vessels continued to ply the fringes of the Indian Ocean after Alexander's death and the fracturing of his empire.

Prior to this time, however, no such contact existed. There is no real evidence in older pharaonic times that Egyptians knew of India or, much less, China. One would have to see sure evidence in the material culture between the two nations, and I am not aware of such material culture in the archaeological record. While stuff from India might have been filtering in small degrees into Ptolemaic Egypt, this was through trade and principally through intermediaries in Iran and Central Asia. I can't think of any real contacts with China, however.

I am not terribly well versed on China's history, but I have to think that the first widespread and in-depth interactions between China and the Middle East did not occur until the western campaigns of Genghis Khan and his successors in about the thirteenth century CE.

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#10    Abramelin

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 06:57 PM

View Postlightly, on 05 April 2012 - 06:16 PM, said:

I always thought it an interesting 'coincidence'  that the layouts are more than a little similar.   Both are aligned cardinally as well...but not the same layout cardinally?
Attachment xian:giza.jpg

I assume the idea of the Egyptian pyramids like we still see on the Giza Plateau could have been very attractive for other rulers wherever they lived.

There is no proof the Chinese got the idea directly from the Egyptians, but a drawing of a pyramid could have travelled far, and a Chinese emperor (of the Han dynasty) might have loved what he saw on that drawing and ordered to built them in his own honour.

Again, not saying it happened like that, but it certainly is a possibility.

He even could have received a small hand-helt ben-ben stone, like a kind of souvenir he got from a merchant (Arab, Indian).

.

Edited by Abramelin, 05 April 2012 - 06:58 PM.


#11    Abramelin

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 07:03 PM

View Postkmt_sesh, on 05 April 2012 - 06:40 PM, said:

Alexander's campaigns in the Indus Valley were the first real contact between Mediterranean cultures and the westernmost spheres of India's influence. Alexander never marched into India proper, and in fact the Greeks didn't really understand what India was: one of Alexander's goals in moving ever eastward was to find the great ocean that Greeks thought lay in that vicinity, so imagine his surprise upon finding only more land, and more land, and more land. Had Alexander's army not refused to go on it's more than likely he would've continued into India, but he never did. That being the case, however, his campaigns resulted in some degree of formalized contact between West and East. Greek vessels continued to ply the fringes of the Indian Ocean after Alexander's death and the fracturing of his empire.

Prior to this time, however, no such contact existed. There is no real evidence in older pharaonic times that Egyptians knew of India or, much less, China. One would have to see sure evidence in the material culture between the two nations, and I am not aware of such material culture in the archaeological record. While stuff from India might have been filtering in small degrees into Ptolemaic Egypt, this was through trade and principally through intermediaries in Iran and Central Asia. I can't think of any real contacts with China, however.

I am not terribly well versed on China's history, but I have to think that the first widespread and in-depth interactions between China and the Middle East did not occur until the western campaigns of Genghis Khan and his successors in about the thirteenth century CE.

The contact between Egypt and China could have been very INdirect.

Egypt (Greek vessels) <<->> Meroë  <<->> Arabia <<->> India <<->> SE Asia ?? <<->> China.

And this is not about really ancient Egypt, it is from - according to the webiste in my first post - 250 BC to 250 AD.


.

Edited by Abramelin, 05 April 2012 - 07:08 PM.


#12    Abramelin

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 07:24 PM

Kmt_sesh, do you know about this:

Some remnants of what was probably Chinese silk have been found in Ancient Egypt from 1070 BC. Though the originating source seems sufficiently reliable, silk unfortunately degrades very rapidly and we cannot double-check for accuracy whether it was actually cultivated silk (which would almost certainly have come from China) that was discovered or a type of "wild silk," which might have come from the Mediterranean region or the Middle East.

-

Routes along the Persian Royal Road (constructed 5th century BC) may have been in use as early as 3500 BC. There is evidence that Ancient Egyptian explorers may have originally cleared and protected some branches of the Silk Road.


http://www.sheppards...facts-Asia8.htm

.

Edited by Abramelin, 05 April 2012 - 07:32 PM.


#13    kmt_sesh

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 08:01 PM

View PostAbramelin, on 05 April 2012 - 07:24 PM, said:

Kmt_sesh, do you know about this:

Some remnants of what was probably Chinese silk have been found in Ancient Egypt from 1070 BC. Though the originating source seems sufficiently reliable, silk unfortunately degrades very rapidly and we cannot double-check for accuracy whether it was actually cultivated silk (which would almost certainly have come from China) that was discovered or a type of "wild silk," which might have come from the Mediterranean region or the Middle East.

-

Routes along the Persian Royal Road (constructed 5th century BC) may have been in use as early as 3500 BC. There is evidence that Ancient Egyptian explorers may have originally cleared and protected some branches of the Silk Road.


http://www.sheppards...facts-Asia8.htm

.

I of course cannot outright dismiss the possibility of some Chinese silk in Egypt at that time. How it might have got there is the question, but we shouldn't assume it marked some form of trade between Egypt and China. As it is, the time period mentioned (1070 BCE) marks a sharp decline in pharaonic Egypt as the New Kingdom was collapsing and Libyan domination was beginning. The Egyptians weren't likely to have been doing much of anything aside from trying to hold it together. Anyway, aside from my penchant for tedious rambling, if a sample of silk in Egypt does date to the end of the eleventh century BCE, it must've ended up there via an exceedingly circuitous and indirect route. I am not aware of this sample of silk and cannot comment on it authoritatively.

The Persians definitely had much to do with the Silk Road, at least where it encroached their sphere of influence (which was considerable, of course). It would've been in their interests to protect and foster the Silk Road. I cannot think of any instance in which the Egyptians did, however. In those periods when Egypt controlled the Levant, well before the Persians rose to empire status, Egyptians certainly would've guarded and perhaps even garrisoned important trade routes coming west from Mesopotamia, but we shouldn't mistake that for the Silk Road.

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#14    Big Bad Voodoo

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 08:02 PM

Interesting thread for sure. I dont doubt that Chinese did travel to Egypt. Or opposite.
During period you state Abe there was several  empires that already traded with each other and we must understand that Egypt was under Romans in that period.
"Missing" link you look for is Parthian empire. Parthians were between Roman republic later empire and Han China.
They were center of trade at that time.Parthians defeated Roman several times and took Levant from them.
Later Romans under Mark Antony enter in Parthia in city of Ctesiphon. Beautifull ruins btw. Google it.
Anyway ,Romans traded with Parthians and Parthians traded with Han.
I mentioned Levant because that way Chinese goods gets free way into Egypt.
By the time you mentioned is still going debate among historians which was the greatest empire of that time Rome or Han.
We all know Romans but I was stuned reading about Han. Trust me those guys were serious. They used chemical warfare.
By the time Han was establihed China wall was already there, Terracotta army.
With Parthians they help in making Silk Road and we all know that silk road came to Mediterran.

Zhang Zhong Jing undertood how diet can help with health,Whan Chong understood water cycle,philosophical skepticism evolved,paper was invented,first record of Pythagorean Theorem in China,
Liu Xin calculate Pi at 3.154 also Zhang Heng invented seismometer and calculated Pi and made star catalogues with 124 constellations and understood solar and lunar eclipse, Sima Qian father of Chinese history lived,Jing Fang quoted some Han people which belived that Sun Moon and Planets are round balls.
Hua Tuo, my fav, used anestheia on patients and done surgeries. He was great acupuncturist also.

Besides those three great empires there were several others that we know that they traded with India and Romans Aksumite empire in Africa
Kingdom of Funan ( on which later will developed Khmers) are well known that they traded with India,Han and Romans. Archeological evidence of Roman founded in todays Vietnam.
As I remember that in Berbers Numidia they found some Persian artifacts.

And then we came to Chinese mummies and China pyramids. Who said that they didnt see Egyptians and tried to copy them? Why not?

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#15    Big Bad Voodoo

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 08:28 PM

cca 100 years later then stated period in Korea started to do Pyramids.
http://en.wikipedia...._of_the_General
Posted Image

I will upload some chinese pyramids for you.

Edited by Melo, 05 April 2012 - 08:29 PM.

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