Further evidence for the extraordinary early contact with Africa is found in the 1st century AD Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, which is one of the few ancient Greek sources on the Red Sea, Indian Ocean and Persian Gulf.
It was from the ostraca excavated along the Myos Hormos-Nile road that scholars first found convincing evidence that the ruins at Quseir al-Qidim should be identified with the ancient port of Myos Hormos, known as a key Red Sea emporium in early Roman times from a number of ancient works, including those of Strabo and Pliny the Elder, and the anonymously penned Periplus of the Erythraean Sea.
Most accounts of this region during the later Hellenistic and Roman periods derived from the five books On the Erythraean Sea written during the middle of the second century B.
A copy of On the Erythraean Sea survived in ninth-century Constantinople, however, and Photius included an extensive summary of its fifth book and a few fragments from the first in Codex 250 of his Bibliotheca.
The earliest reference to these islands is made in the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, by an anonymous author of the 1st century AD, who refers to the islands off Damirica (the name assigned to Malabar at that time), in connection with the export of tortoise shell (Casson 1989; Schoff 1974).