Greek and Roman Amphorae Fragments from Junnar

There’s a couple of versions of this one kicking around; the incipit from a piece in the Times of India:

Fragments of amphoras – the two-handled jar with narrow neck used by ancient Greeks and Romans to carry wine or oil – have been found in Junnar, about 80 km from the city, confirming ancient trade links between the Romans and the Satavahanas, the earliest rulers of Maharashtra in 230 BC.

Also, for the first time, huge brick structures have been excavated at the site.

Archaeologists from the Deccan College Post Graduate Research Institute have been gathering evidence of a trade link between the Romans and the Satavahanas since 2005. The discovery of the amphora fragments on March 2, have confirmed these links. Archaeologists are also looking for traces of any pre-Satavahana occupation in the region. Past excavations have uncovered terracotta bracelets, ear studs, terracotta plaques, a terracotta female head, shell bangles, bone tools and stone implements, which had provided ample evidence that the Junnar region had trade links with the ancient Roman and Greek empires.

“The handles of the amphora jars are fragmented. Similar specimens have been reported from Qana in Yemen, a region located on the sea trade-route. These jars are made of very fine clay mixed with sand and have a lanolin-like colour,” said Shreekant Jadhav, superintendent of the excavations conducted in Junnar. Besides the Deccan College, students from the Mumbai University’s department of extra murals and the Tilak Maharashtra Vidyapeeth also participated in the excavation.

[…]

… the item goes on to discuss the brick structures mentioned. There’s a semi-similar piece mentioned in the sidebar of this one from four or so years ago (Mapping Pune’s Roman connection) but it doesn’t really mention anything specific. While I have no doubt that the Romans were trading at some point with India, I am extremely skeptical that there was such trade as early as the third century B.C. between Romans and India — as far as I’m aware, that didn’t really happen until Imperial times. Greeks, obviously (in the wake of Alexander), but not Romans. I strongly suspect a journalist or perhaps even a scholar is being rather loose with attributions here …

 

 

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