Concept

Meluhha

Summary
Meluḫḫa or Melukhkha ( Me-luḫ-ḫaKI) is the Sumerian name of a prominent trading partner of Sumer during the Middle Bronze Age. Its identification remains an open question, but most scholars associate it with the Indus Valley civilisation. Balochistan#Etymology Asko Parpola identifies Proto-Dravidians with the Indus Valley civilization (IVC) and the Meluhha people mentioned in Sumerian records. According to him, the word "Meluhha" derives from the Dravidian words mel-akam ("highland country"). It is possible that the IVC people exported sesame oil to Mesopotamia, where it was known as ilu in Sumerian and eḷḷu in Akkadian. One theory is that these words derive from the South Dravidian I name for sesame (eḷḷ or eḷḷu). However, Michael Witzel, who associates IVC with the ancestors of Munda speakers, suggests an alternative etymology from the para-Munda word for wild sesame: jar-tila. Munda is an Austroasiatic language, and forms a substratum (including loanwords) in Dravidian languages. Asko Parpola relates Meluhha with Mleccha who were considered non-Vedic "barbarians" in Vedic Sanskrit. Indus–Mesopotamia relations Indus Valley civilization trade Indo-Roman trade relations Indian maritime history and Indian Ocean trade Sumerian texts repeatedly refer to three important centers with which they traded: Magan, Dilmun, and Meluhha. The Sumerian location of Magan is now accepted to be the area currently encompassing the United Arab Emirates and Oman. Dilmun was a Persian Gulf civilization which traded with Mesopotamian civilizations, the current scholarly consensus is that Dilmun encompassed Bahrain, Failaka Island and the adjacent coast of Eastern Arabia in the Persian Gulf. In an inscription, Sargon of Akkad (2334–2279 BCE) referred to ships coming from Meluhha, Magan and Dilmun. His grandson Naram-Sin (2254–2218 BCE) listing the rebel kings to his rule, mentioned "(..)ibra, man of Melukha". In an inscription, Gudea of Lagash (21st century BCE) referred to the Meluhhans who came to Sumer to sell gold dust, carnelian, etc.
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