By Tirthankar Roy

Cross-cultural alternate has characterised the industrial lifetime of India considering the fact that antiquity. Its lengthy beach has afforded handy entry to Asia and Africa, and buying and selling partnerships shaped within the trade of commodities starting from textiles to army know-how and opium to indigo. In a trip throughout 2,000 years, this enchanting publication written through a number one South Asian historian, describes the binds of exchange, migration, and funding among India and the remainder of the realm, displaying how altering styles of globalization reverberated on monetary coverage, politics, and political ideology inside India. alongside the best way, the booklet asks 3 significant questions. is that this a very Indian tale? while did the large turning issues ensue? And is it attainable to tell apart the fashionable from the pre-modern development of alternate? those questions invite a brand new method of the examine of Indian background via putting the sector squarely on the heart of the narrative. this is often international historical past written on India's phrases and, as such, the booklet invitations South Asian, Indian, and international historians to reconsider either their historical past and their methodologies.

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The silk cloth known from the Mauryan times as chinamsuka remained an article in Indo-Chinese trade for nearly two thousand years. The dating and provenance of this cloth can be debated. It has been suggested that the passages in the literary sources that refer to this cloth were later insertions and that the cloth may 18 19 20 21 Ray, “Trade in the Western Deccan,” p. 21. Parker, “Ex Oriente Luxuria,” p. 64. P. V. Kane, History of Dharmasastra (Ancient and Medieval Religious and Civil Law in India), Poona: Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, vols.

Formation of routes and ports Evidence of long-distance trade in the South Asian subcontinent goes back to the Indus Valley civilization, which was roughly contemporary to the Early Dynastic Sumerians. The Indus Valley settlements started around 3000 bce in the Punjab interfluvial tracts as agricultural communities. They later covered a wide geographical area in the Indus basin, appearing as small or large urban settlements and villages. The presence 20 Ports and Hinterlands to 1200 21 of many towns among them, some located sufficiently close to the sea, points to systematic urban-rural contact and maritime trade.

33 There is also a mention in at least one document of a considerable quantity of iron. 34 33 34 Norman A. Stillman, “The Eleventh-Century Merchant House of Ibn ‘Awkal (A Geniza Study),” Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 16(1), 1973, pp. 15–88. S. D. Goitein, “The Main Industries of the Mediterranean Area as Reflected in the Records of the Cairo Geniza,” Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 4(2), 1961, pp. 168–97. Ports and Hinterlands to 1200 41 As valuable as the Geniza sources are, they shed little light on the trading world of the Indians compared to what they say about the community or the commercial and political institutions of the Red Sea region.

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