The southern Iranian route also offered access to the Gulf, but the Gulf
area could be reached by sea, and thus, there was a maritime access to
Mesopotamia as well. The maritime route could have touched the Makran
coast, but more logically, ships went out of Gujarat to the Oman peninsula,
taking the help of monsoon winds. This is an area where the Indus presence is
sharply visible, down to pottery and the presence of Indus designs on
presumably some local pottery. Ras-al-Junayj on the Oman coast provides the
landfall for ships coming from the Gujarat side, and significantly, the place
has yielded indisputable Indus artefacts.
Harappan Links with Mesopotamia and Bactria The term ‘Meluhha’,
which occurs in Mesopotamian literature, may not denote exclusively, the
area of the Harappan civilisation. Instead, it could denote the whole area to
the east of Khujestan and its adjacent area in Iran and thus possibly, included
the Indus area as well in its scope. There could also be settlements of
Harappan traders in Mesopotamian cities. Goods must have been regularly
traded over this whole area, and it is possible that in this process, the seasonal
nomads of the Hindukush region played a role.
    In the scheme of Harappan external trade, Bactria (northeast Afghanistan)
like the Gulf region, seems to have had a special niche. Miscellaneous
Harappan or Harappa-related objects have been found in various looted
graves of the Bactrian region and at a site called Dasly. On the other hand,
indisputably, rich trade goods with Bactrian material have been found in
Quetta, Mehrgarh and Sibri, all in the Bolan Pass region. These finds,
according to some scholars, belong to the late phase of the Indus civilisation,
but there is really no special reason why it cannot date from its mature phase.
There is no clear-cut evidence about the nature of the polity. According to D
D Kosambi the priests constituted the ruling class, but according to R S
Sharma the merchants were the rulers. Whatever might be the nature of
political organisation, it is evident  that the Harappans had a very efficient and