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Funan Kingdom in Vietnam
250 BC - 250 AD
During the period between 250 BC and 250 AD, a maritime sea route existed between Alexandra in Northern Africa and China. As trade took place along this route, a number of kingdoms rose to power, flush with finances from trade. These kingdoms all came into being around the same time, and all waned around the same time.
In Vietnam, the Funan Kingdom was active during the time that the Ancient Trade Route was operating.
It is thought by some that the kingdom of Funan was founded early in the first century A.D. In Cambodia (Siam), i the kingdom of Funan was established in the Mekong delta, which today is Vietnamese territory. The founders of this kingdom were most likely Indian merchants. In subsequent centuries, Funan developed into a seafaring merchant power, but it did not become a formal state with a large land area. It was strategically located to become a trading power ships travelled almost exclusively close to the coastline. The Mekong delta was also an important stop over on the sea route between China and the Malay Peninsula. In the 6th century the kingdom of Funan dissolved. According to the Chinese sources, Funan was founded by a brahmin from India called Kaundinya. He met and married a local princess, Soma, daughter of the naga king and founded the first Kingdom called the phnoni, introducing Hindu customs, legal traditions and the Sanskrit language. Modern historians refer to it as Funan, the first Khmer Kingdom, and the oldest State in the Southeast Asia.
The capital city, Oc-eo is currently found about 6 miles (10 km) inland from Rach Gia. It was an important port at the height of the ancient Kingdom of Funan from the 1st - 6th centuries AD. It lay submerged for centuries until it was rediscovered in the 1940s.
Internet Links with information on ancient Vietnam

 Ancient Beads from Vietnam

 Oc-Eo Archeological Finds

The Lower Mekong Archaeological Project
Also check out the following pages on

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 Trade on the Arabian Sea

 Trade on the Bay of Bengal

 Trade on the China Sea
Who were the ancient Arab Sea Traders? Alexandria, the center of trade
Nabataeans in Italy Berenice Port on the Red Sea
Nabataeans in Africa Myos Hormos Port on the Red Sea
Africa: Juani Island Leuce Come Port on the Red Sea
Africa: Mafia Island Trade on the Arabian Sea
Africa: The Coast of Tanzania Trade on the Red Sea
Nabataeans in India Nabataeans in the Arab Gulf
The Kingdoms of South India Indian Pottery Found in Petra
Arab Ports of Call in India Trade on the Bay of Bengal
Nabataeans and Sri Lanka Ancient Trade Items
The Kingdom of Ruhuna Nabataeans in Turkey
Stone Anchors from Arabia in Sri Lanka Malacca in Asia
Southern Arabia Dong Song Kingdom in Vietnam
Southern Arabia Countryside African Pottery found in Nabataea
Southern Arabia A Caravansary Nabataean Trade Routes
Southern Arabia: The Marib Dam Nabataeans on Rhodes
Southern Arabia Sa'ada (City in the North) The Ancient Maritime Sea Route
Southern ArabiaYemeni Lifestyle A Proposed New Trade Route Directly East fromPetra
Nabataeans in Antartica? Elephants and the Nabataeans
Nabataeans in China Trade on the China Sea
The Spice Route Time Chart (China, India, Arabia, Europe)  Nabataea found in Chinese Texts
China: The Li-Kan Question  Chinese Maritime History
An overview of Chinese history The 'West' as mentioned in Chinese historical sources
Book Review; 1421 - The Year China Discovered the World