Indian Salt: Kingdom of Funan

The modern version of the Sugar Cane Story forgets about the fragmentation of Greater India and the destruction of the Kingdom of Funan.

Make-Believe: India
The narrative for India has sugar cane arriving between 1500 and 500 BCE.

Sanskrit literature from ancient India, written between 1500 – 500 BC provides the first documentation of the cultivation of sugar cane and of the manufacture of sugar in the Bengal region of the Indian subcontinent.[citation needed]

Saccharum barberi is a strong-growing species of grass in the genus Saccharum, the sugarcanes. It originates from northern India and has been exported to other countries and grown for the production of sugar.

Saccharum bengalense, alternatively Saccharum bengalensis, with the common names Munj sweetcane, baruwa sugarcane or baruwa grass, is a plant of the genus Saccharum native to northern India, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iran.

This is a small species of sugarcane bamboo grass, growing 2–3 feet (0.61–0.91 m) in height. The plant is colored pinkish-green.

Saccharum spontaneum (wild sugarcane) is a grass native to the Indian Subcontinent.

However, this make-believe narrative forgets that cane sugar tracks back to the Indus Valley Civilisation that thrived [“mature form”] between 2600 BCE and 1900 BCE.

Jaggery is a traditional non-centrifugal cane sugar…

The word “jaggery” comes from Portuguese, ultimately from the Sanskrit śarkarā, the root of the word “sugar” itself. … Ancient scriptures on Ayurveda mention various medicinal uses based on method of preparation and age.

According to modern Ayurvedic sources, the origins of Ayurveda have been traced to around 6,000 BCE when they originated as an oral tradition.[dubious – discuss] Some of the concepts of Ayurveda have existed since the times of Indus Valley Civilization.

The Indus Valley Civilisation (IVC) was a Bronze Age civilisation in the northwestern regions of South Asia, lasting from 3300 BCE to 1300 BCE, and in its mature form from 2600 BCE to 1900 BCE.

The sugar-cane was first made known to the western parts of the world by the conquests of Alexander the Great.

Nearchus, the admiral sent down the Indus to explore the Indian seas, found it in the East Indies in the year 325 B.C., and describes it as a ” kind of honey ” growing in canes or reeds.

The History of Sugar – William Reed – 1866

Nearchus or Nearchos (c. 360 – 300 BC) was one of the officers, a navarch, in the army of Alexander the Great. He is known for his celebrated voyage from the Indus river to the Persian Gulf following the Indian campaign of Alexander the Great, in 326–324 BC.

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In this instance the mainstream [like Mother Nature] prefers to smother the sweetness of the Indus Valley Civilisation under a shroud.

This frenetic level of invention [amongst the Academics in Aspic] also means they don’t have time to consider whether any of the inhabitants of the Indus Valley Civilisation [along with their religion and language] migrated Westwards Out of India when their homeland became desiccated and engulfed by sand i.e. the Thar Desert.



Make-Believe: China
The Sugar Cane Story states it was domesticated in China before India.

Saccharum officinarum was first domesticated in New Guinea and the islands east of the Wallace Line by Papuans, where it is the modern center of diversity.

The second domestication center is mainland southern China and Taiwan where S. sinense was a primary cultigen of the Austronesian peoples.

There are a few issues with this China narrative.

1) The narrative states sugar cane from New Guinea was hybridized with the “native to the Indian Subcontinent” species Saccharum spontaneum before it arrived in China.

Saccharum officinarum was first domesticated in New Guinea and the islands east of the Wallace Line by Papuans, where it is the modern center of diversity.

From New Guinea it spread westwards to Island Southeast Asia after contact with Austronesians, where it hybridized with Saccharum spontaneum.

Saccharum spontaneum (wild sugarcane) is a grass native to the Indian Subcontinent.

2) Chinese writings confirm their knowledge of sugar cane came from “India”.

Among the Chinese the first historical mention occurs in writings of the eighth century B. C., where the fact is recorded that their knowledge of sugar cane was derived from India.

Something About Sugar – George M Rolph – 1917

India, where the process of refining cane juice into granulated crystals was developed, was often visited by imperial convoys (such as those from China) to learn about cultivation and sugar refining.

3) China was importing sugar cane from the Kingdom of Funan in 200 BCE.

That it was considered of great value by the Chinese is shown by manuscripts of 200 B. C., wherein it is stated that the kingdom of Funan paid its tribute to China in sugar cane.

From this it may be inferred that the secret of extracting crystals from the sugar-cane juice had not been discovered.

Something About Sugar – George M Rolph – 1917

4) The Kingdom of Funan opens a whole new can of worms.

Funan Empire – 50/68 AD–550 AD

Based on the testimony of the Chinese historians, the polity Funan is believed to have been established in the 1st century CE in the Mekong Delta, but archaeological research has shown that extensive human settlement in the region may have gone back as far as the 4th century BCE.

In the last 100 years the mainstream has moved the founding of the Kingdom of Funan from [sometime] before 200 BC to the first century AD.

4.1) Some cartographic representations of the Kingdom of Funan are visibly supportive of the Inflating Earth hypothesis.

In Cambodia, the Chinese place the founding of the kingdom of Funan by the Brahman Kaupdinya in the first century A.D.

China entered into relations with Funan in the third century A.D., and the oldest of the four Sanskrit inscriptions that this country has bequeathed to us dates back to this time.

The Indianized States of Southeast Asia – George Coedès – 1968

4.2) The Kingdom of Funan was “destroyed” at the Arabian Horizon.


The End of Funan and
The Beginning of Cambodia or Chenla (550-630)

The last embassy to China from Rudravarman of Funan was in 539.

Although the New History of the Tang continues to mention embassies from Funan in the first half of the seventh century, it indicates that meanwhile a great change had taken place in the country:

The king had his capital in the city T’e-mu.
Suddenly his city was subjugated by Chenla, and he had to migrate south
to the city of Na-fu-na.”

The oldest text that mentions Chenla is the History of the Sui:

“The kingdom of Chenla is southwest of Lin-yi. It was originally a vassal kingdom of Funan…. The family name of the king was Ch’a-li [Kshatriya]; his personal name was She-to-ssu-na [Chitrasena]; his ancestors had gradually increased the power of
the country. Chitrasena seized Funan and subdued it.”

The name Chenla, used consistently by the Chinese to designate Cambodia, remains unexplained: no known Sanskrit or Khmer word corresponds to its ancient pronunciation t’sien-lap.

The Indianized States of Southeast Asia – George Coedès – 1968

The Funan Kingdom went into decline and was destroyed by the Chenla army.

Following this, in the middle of the 7th century, many individual new states came into being including Dvaravati in the Chaophraya River basin, Chenla in the Mekong River basin, Sri Mahosot in the Bang Pakong River basin and Lawo in the Lopburi River basin.

From archaeological evidence, which includes Roman, Chinese, and Indian goods excavated at the ancient mercantile centre of Óc Eo in southern Vietnam, it is known that Funan must have been a powerful trading state. Excavations at Angkor Borei in southern Cambodia have likewise delivered evidence of an important settlement. Since Óc Eo was linked to a port on the coast and to Angkor Borei by a system of canals, it is possible that all of these locations together constituted the heartland of Funan.

Although it’s said the name Chenla “remains unexplained” there’s a possibility that it’s connected to the Tamil Chola dynasty [300s BCE–1279 CE] of Southern India.

Historical Atlas of India – Charles Joppen – 1907

The Chola dynasty was a Tamil dynasty of southern India, one of the longest-ruling dynasties in the world’s history . The earliest datable references to the Chola are in inscriptions from the 3rd century BCE left by Ashoka, of the Maurya Empire (Ashoka Major Rock Edict No.13). As one of the Three Crowned Kings of Tamilakam, along with the Chera and Pandya, the dynasty continued to govern over varying territory until the 13th century CE.

4.3) It’s arguable the Chinese acquired their ”knowledge of sugar cane” from India the Kingdom of Funan because it was an Indianised State.

Funan was the name given by Chinese cartographers, geographers and writers to an ancient Indianised state – or, rather a loose network of states (Mandala) – located in mainland Southeast Asia centered on the Mekong Delta that existed from the first to sixth century CE.

The Indian cultural sphere or Indosphere is an area that is composed of the many countries and regions in South and Southeast Asia that were historically influenced by Indian culture and the Sanskrit language.

The term Greater India is used to encompass the historical and geographic extent of all political entities of the Indian subcontinent, and the regions which are culturally linked to India or received significant Sanskritization and Indian cultural influence.

This Sanskrit or Indian civilization, transplanted into Southeast Asia and called, according to the country, “Indo-Khmer,” “Indo-Javanese,” etc., is the one we are able to recognize in the epigraphical or archaeological documents.

Perhaps the only difference between it and the “Sanskrit civilization” of Bengal and the Dravidian countries is the fact that it was spread by sea while the other was spread by land and, in a sense, by “osmosis.”

The Indian civilization of Southeast Asia was the civilization of an elite and not that of the whole population, whose beliefs and way of life are still very insufficiently known.

The Indianized States of Southeast Asia – George Coedès – 1968

4.4) A stele inscribed with Southern Indian Grantha Script suggests the physical destruction of the Kingdom of Funan may have involved the Taprobane landmass breaking away from the mainland of Southeast Asia to form the Indian sub-continent.

The only extant local writings from the period of Funan are paleographic Pallava Grantha inscriptions in Sanskrit of the Pallava dynasty, a scholarly language used by learned and ruling elites throughout South and Southeast Asia.

The Grantha script is a South Indian script, found particularly in Tamil Nadu and Kerala, that emerged between 5th- and 6th-century CE.

This early Grantha script was used to write Sanskrit texts, inscriptions on copper plates and stones of Hindu temples and monasteries.

The Causes of Indian Expansion

How can we explain this maritime drive of a people who regarded crossing the “black water” and contact with the Mlecch’a barbarians as bringing defilement and pollution?

The Indianized States of Southeast Asia – George Coedès – 1968

Mleccha is a Sanskrit term referring to foreign or barbarous peoples in ancient India, as contradistinguished from Aryas.

Mleccha was used by the ancient Indians originally to indicate the uncouth and incomprehensible speech of foreigners and then extended to their unfamiliar behaviour, and also used as a derogatory term in the sense of “impure” and/or “inferior” people.

Aryan” has its roots as a term that was used as a self-designation by Indo-Iranian people.

The term was used by the Indo-Aryan people of the Vedic period in Ancient India as an ethnic label for themselves and later refer to the noble class as well as the geographic region known as Āryāvarta, where Indo-Aryan culture is based (in this region).

The Iranian people used the term as an ethnic label for themselves in the Avesta scriptures, and the word forms the etymological source of the country name Iran.



The storyline gets more catastrophically confused as it travels further East…

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