An Important Archaeological Discovery on the Island Socotra

Vinogradov Yuri A.

The island of Socotra lying in the Gulf of Aden in the Indian Ocean between Arabia and Africa played an important role in the trade between India and the Mediterranean in the first centuries AD. Before the recent archaeological investigations on the island the only source showing the place of the island in the international sea-trade was the anonymous Periplous of the Erythraean Sea (30–31). There was no archaeological data to support it. Members of the Russian archaeological expedition in Yemen investigated ruins of the ancient settlement of Kosh in the western extremity of Socotra in 2010. The ceramics found there proves that the settlement took part in international sea-trade in the 2nd–3rd centuries BC.

Keywords: the Indian Ocean, island of Socotra, Mediterranean, international trade, ceramic finds