Romani Connections To The Ancient Harappan Civilization


Romani history is the Roma and their nation, religion, and culture, as it developed and interacted with other peoples, religions, and cultures. The first appearance of Romani people is found in the records of ancient Sumer. In one inscription of Sargon of Akkad, it mentions ships coming from Meluhha (Indus Valley Civilization). The location of Meluhha is wonderfully described by author Lincoln Paine in the book The Sea and Civilization: A Maritime History of the World. On page 62 of Paine’s work, we read the following:

“The best-known reference to Mesopotamia’s overseas described how the founder of the Akkadian Dynasty, Sargon, triumphed over his neighbors to make his city a center of interregional commerce around 2300 BCE: “Ships from Meluhha, Magan, and Dilmun mad fast at the dock of Akkad.” Sargon’s capital has not been located, but Akkad was probably in the vicinity of modern Baghdad, about five hundred miles from the Persian Gulf. Magan refers to the lands of the lower Persian Gulf, and Meluhha the Indus Valley civilization.”

Paine makes it very clear that the ancient city of Meluhha was located in the Indus Valley. This is a very essential part in our discussion about Romani origins as the Indus Valley is where scientific evidence points to the beginnings of our people. In an online article published by University World News entitled Study Shows Roma Descended From ‘Untouchables’ by Nick Holdsworth, reports:

A team headed by Dr Toomas Kivisild, a Cambridge University expert on human evolutionary genetics, has pinpointed the region and social group from which Europe’s 10 million Roma are descended…Working with scientists from Hyderabad’s Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology and geneticists in Estonia and Switzerland, the study, published in the December edition of the journal Nature, examined the genetic fingerprint of 10,000 samples from members of 214 different Indian ethnic groups.”

The study revealed that the Roma matched with several populations in the Indian subcontinent, but specifically with the “areas of north-west India dominated by the region’s ‘doma’ – the low-caste Dalits”. Amazingly, we find that the Dalits existed in the ancient settlement of Harappa society during the time of Sargon of Akkad. It is also important to note that Meluhha was a city in Harappa. In a Wikipedia article under the topic, which describes some of the structure behind this specific Dalit advocacy website, it specifically states:

The website claimed that the Dalits were the original people of India who created the Harappan civilization, and described the Brahmins as the descendants of the Aryan invaders who enslaved them.

Since the Roma have been proven to descend from the Dalits, then we can say that the Roma were involved in the creation of the Harappan civilization. Many researchers and scholars have equated Harappa with Meluhha. For example, Transnationalism in Ancient and Medieval Societies: The Role of Cross-Border Trade and Travel Book by Michael C. Howard, states:

“The Uruk period saw a considerable volume of trade goods flowing along Sumer’s rivers and canals, overland from various parts of the Middle East, and by sea through the Persian Gulf to Dilmun (Bahrain) and beyond on the Indus River in what is today Pakistan. Archaeologists have discovered a Uruk-era at Warka that is literally brimming with objects of imported woods, precious and semiprecious stones, and metals. Enki was the Sumerian god of crafts and the text Enki and the World Order includes a prayer for timber and other articles to be brought to Sumer from Meluhha (Harappa in modern Pakistan) to bring gold, silver, and lapis lazuli.”

As Roma people, we find that our ancestors were builders of the Harappa civilization at best and members of this society at a minimum. It would therefore imperative that we explore and inculcate Harappan history as our own.

Categories: Afro-Romani Culture, ancient civilization, ancient history, Ancient India, ancient Mesopotamia, culture, Harappa Civilization, Ninzuwu Culture, Ninzuwu History, Roma, Romani People, Romani Ties To Harappan Civilization

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