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Ancient India’s Southern Ports

Monday, September 16, 2013


CHENNAI, INDIA—Underwater archaeologists and students from Tamil University are conducting a survey of the coast of the southern state of Tamil Nadu. They want to know if Claudius Ptolemy’s second-century descriptions of 15 of southern India’s ancient ports are accurate, and if they correspond to the ports mentioned in ancient Tamil literature such as the Akananuru, which was written between 600 B.C. and A.D. 300. “We are presently surveying coastal towns, near where we believe ports might have existed. If they have existed, there would have been a heavy traffic of boats and ships. Also in towns, we are looking for pottery and other remains, which can indicate a lot,” said N. Athiyaman, head of the project.