Growing in a Foreign World: For a History of the "Meluha Villages" in Mesopotamia in the 3rd Millenium BCE

A fascinating article that gathers together all facts about Indus settlements and trading with ancient Mesopotamia around 2500 BCE. Conjectures and implications by an Italian archaeologist who is a pioneer in deep multidisciplinary analysis. The connections between these ancient Bronze age civilizations could one day help answer a lot of questions. People moved around a lot more than we think, and interactions between cultures were just as rich as they are today.

A famous Mesopotamian inscription from the time of Sargon the Great (ca.2270-2215 BCE) who boasted that "ships from Meluhha / the ships from Magan / the ships from Dilmun / he made tie-up alongside / the quay of Akkad."

Table of Contents

1. Separating facts from conjectures
2. Textual and archaeological evidence
3. Other relevant facts
4. More interpretations and conjectures
5. Towards a new historical picture.
6. Conclusions.

1. left: Shu-ilishu's Cylinder seal showing Indus language interpreter sitting on lap of Mesopotamian figure.
1. right: Two possible Indus figures on Shu-ilishu's Cylinder seal.
2: Impression of an Indus-style cylinder seal of unknown Near Eastern origin in the Musee du Louvre, Paris. One of the two anthropomorphic figures carved on this seal wears the horns of water buffalo while sitting on a throne with hoofed legs, surrounded by snakes, fishes and water buffaloes.

Images courtesy Musee du Louvre, Paris France, the bottom one copyrighted photo by M. Chuzeville for the Departement des antiquites orientales, Musee du Louvre. Artwork by Mohammed Waqas Iqbal.