Chapter Three, "The Sumerians and the Origin of Civilization" from THE
FIRST CIVILIZATIONS: The Archaeology of Their Origins by Glyn Daniel
(Thomas Y. Crowell Company). Copyright 1968 by Glyn Daniel.
Reprinted by permission of Harper & Row, Publishers, Inc.
"The Sumerians got tin from eastern Iran, from Asia Minor and Syria,
and perhaps, although we cannot be certain about this, from Europe.
They got gold from Elam, Cappadocia and the region of Antioch, while
silver and lead came from the Taurus mountains and from Elam.
Copper they obtained from Oman in the south of the Persian Gulf, and
perhaps from the Caucasus as well. Oman was also the source of stone
for querns and door-sockets and statues. Lapis lazuli came from Persia
and Afghanistan, mother of pearl from the Persian Gulf, sank (or
chank) shells from India, cedar and pine from the Lebanon Mountains of
Syria and the Zagros Mountains of Iran. Thus the trade relations of
the Sumerians were very wide from Asia Minor to India, ..."
Thus, Indian exports of Chank shells to the Near East is very
ancient indeed. Indian sacred chanks are native to south India and
Ceylon. Culturally, the chank shells employed as music instruments,
oblation vessels bangles, etc. is central in India - ie., the center
of gravity for employing zaGkha in religion and life appears to be
India. Shell cutters' and bangle makers' houses have been in excavated
belonging to Indus culture times.
>Now, the large conches of the triton
>genre are current there as well as their different uses. How can we
>imagine that a word like konkhos should be "teleported" (carried
>long distance) from the Dravidian zones without economic or cultural
>necessity and without leaving any trace? This is quite different
>than the case of Greek oryza, a word which very well could be
>transferred together with the cereal it designs and whose way we can
>follow via the Afghan word vrize. It would not really bother us that
>the cognates of konkhos are lacking in the Germanic, Slavonian,
>Italic and Celtic languages: these peoples had no use for it.
And in Susa, Kish, Ur, the Indian sacred chanks - a definite
import from India, since these are not found in Near Eastern
seas, have been found!
The word, koGku meaning 'curve, coil, horn'
in dravidian seems to explain both sanskrit zangkha and greek
koTu (pronouced as 'kODu' in tamil) gives rise to kavaDi 'cowrie'.
koTu in tamil means 'curve, horn, hill', and another sankrit word
kambu/zambu 'shell' has a similar root. kombu 'curve, horn' in
tamil. koGku also has same meanings as koDu, kombu in tamil.
In my next email, I'll give ref.s to the places in ancient Near
East where Indian chank shells are found. As I wrote earlier,
wondering whether Indian word, koGku ( G is the nasal) reached
Greece via ancient Near East.