Indian ocean: Terra incognita / Andaman Islands

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The name "Andaman" first appears in the work of Arab geographers of the ninth century,though it is uncertain whether ancient geographers like Ptolemy also knew of the Andamans but referred to them by a different name. They were also described as being inhabited by fierce cannibalistic tribes by the Persian navigator Buzurg ibn Shahriyar of Ramhormuz in his tenth century book Ajaib al-Hind, in which he also mentioned an island he called Andaman al-Kabir (Great Andaman).During the Chola dynasty period in South India (800-1200CE), which ruled an empire encompassing southeastern peninsular India, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, the Maldives, and large parts of current day Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Malaysia, the island group was referred to as Timaittivu (or impure islands). Marco Polo briefly mentions the Andamans (calling them by the name "Angamanain"), although it is doubtful that he visited the islands himself because he also claimed that the human inhabitants had dogs' heads. Another Italian traveler, Niccolo` Da Conti, mentioned the islands and said that the name means "Island of Gold". A theory that became prevalent in the late nineteenth century, and has since gained momentum, is that the name of the islands derives from the Sanskrit language, by way of Malay, and refers to the monkey deity, Hanuman. In the Age of Exploration, travelers often noted the "ferocious hostility" of the Andamanese.




30.08.2018 .

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