24.—Early concepts of oceanographic phenomena of the Indian ocean

Panikkar, N. K. ; Srinivasan, T. M. (1972) 24.—Early concepts of oceanographic phenomena of the Indian ocean Proceedings of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. Section B. Biology, 72 (1). pp. 263-272. ISSN 1473-7124

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The Indian Ocean has been the scene of varied activities of ancient explorers and maritime traders from the very beginnings of recorded history. Experience of early pioneers has led to much information on the sea pertaining to weather, winds, currents, waves and tides. Although their observations were often correct, the ideas derived from them lacked precision and clarity, but they succeeded in forming a good general picture of the physical conditions prevailing in the northern Indian Ocean. Historically, the subject is of considerable interest, for the ideas concerning the physical aspects of the Indian Ocean have been expressed in the semi-scientific terminology of the times. The principal sources which preserve these early concepts are either of Indian or of Mediterranean origin. The Indian sources are derived mainly from literary (Sanskrit, Pali and Tamil) and archaeological (excavations, numismatics and paintings) records and findings. Of the Mediterranean sources, the Greeks have been the principal contributors through their writings and records pertaining to travel towards Asian and African Coasts.

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