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Along the aroma and spice routes

The port of Sumhuram and the trade between the Mediterranean, Arabia and India in pre-Islamic times

This project has been funded by Italian MIUR- Ministero dell’Università e della Ricerca within the 2007 PRIN programme.
The recent discoveries made by IMTO, setting the foundation of Sumhuram back to the early 3rd century BC, have cast doubt over a concept which up to now had been generally accepted by scholars, namely that all the seaports along the southern coast of Arabia were established at the beginning of the 1st century AD after the Roman conquest of Egypt and consequent to the development of navigation between the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean.
The scope of the project, which has a strong multidisciplinary character, is to reconstruct the history of the city, its palaeo-environment and the ancient trade routes that linked the Mediterranean with India by way of the Red Sea and the coasts of Arabia.