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.
(35) The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, written by a Greek merchant during the first century CE, (36) describes a busy maritime world of coastal and oceanic trade between small and large ports in north-east and eastern Africa as far down as Rhapta (a port on the Rufiji River delta in present-day Tanzania, near Kilwa), Arabia, Gujarat and peninsular India, and island South-east Asia, in which African traders from present-day Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sudan and Somalia were actively involved.
Periplus of the Erythraean Sea: Travel and Trade in the Indian Ocean (New York: Longmans Green).
(68.) The English referred to Bharuch as Broach; the port was called Barygaza in the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea.
1980 The Periplus of Erythraean Sea. London: The Hakluyt Society.
1912 The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea: Travel and Trade in the Indian Ocean by a Merchant of the First Century.
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
. Recent British excavations at Quseir al-Qadim (1999-2003) have unearthed documents that bolster this identification.
An anonymous guide to the Red Sea and Indian Ocean appeared in the first century AD, Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, presumed to be by an experienced mariner from its wealth of detail on winds, reefs, harbours, coastal peoples, trade and other related subjects.
Admiralty Pilot, Red Sea & Gulf of Aden (London, various editions); Lionel Casson (ed), Peri plus of the Erythraean Sea (London, 1990); Llewellyn Dawson, Memoirs of Hydrography (1929); C.R.
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.C.E.
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.