Early Recorded History

Goan history dates back to antiquity. Rock carvings and rock engravings found at various places in Goa, indicate that Stone Age people had settled in this ancient land around 10000 - 8000 BC. These people were hunters and gatherers.

In modern recorded history, the first written mention of the land of Goa is on the cuneiform writings of the Sumerian era around 2200 BC. Goa is referred to as Gubio, by the King Gudea, the ruler of the kingdom of Lagash. In support of this theory, interestingly, the agricultural fields in Goa follow the Sumerian measure of 12 cubits to a pole or 0.495 of a metre to a cubit. This is different from the 0.46 unit found in most areas of India.

There is also some evidence to suggest that around 1775 BC, the Phoenicians, who were expert seafarers, settled in the areas around Goa.

The Vedic Period

Goa is referred to as Gomantak around the period 1000 - 500 BC. This is considered to be the time when the epic of Mahabharata was written.

In this epic of Hindu mythology, the migration of Saraswat Brahmins from the north to the present day area of Goa is woven around the legend of Parashurama, the sixth incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Goa finds its first mention as Gomantak in the Harivamsha part of the epic Mahabharata.

In this southward migration, the Saraswat Brahmins who first went to Bengal, are supposed to have settled in the Konkan area around the year 1000 BC. The indigenous locals of the area, the Kunbi tribals, worked together with the Brahmin families to create a fertile stretch of land between the Arabian Sea and the Western Ghats.

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