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They remain a small but important presence in Kochi, a trading hub on the Kerala coast since ancient times.Also existent are the Bene Israel, believed to have arrived some 2,100 years ago; they settled in and around Mumbai and in present day Pakistan.Although very few members of the community remain, most having long since emigrated to Israel, the Kochin Jews were and are an important part of the Kerala coast's spice trade, with huge warehouses containing mountains of turmeric, chillies, and pepper located directly below their family living quarters.India's largest Jewish community, however, is the Bene Israel in Mumbai.Shajan and his team found Muziris exactly where it was supposed to be—4 miles inland, behind a double line of backwaters near the modern town of Cranganore (Kodungallar).Coins of Roman emperors Nero and Tiberius have been found, along with Roman amphorae and Mediterranean glass ornaments.
Vasco Da Gama, who had heard about the Indies from traders, arrived in 1498 at the court of Zamorin, in Calicut (now Kozhikode), to find that his gifts of spices were utterly commonplace in the Kerala coast.
More recent arrivals were the Baghdadi Jews, so called because they are chiefly descended from Iraqi Jews who migrated to India during the British Raj, between 150 - 250 years ago.
India's most prominent Jewish community—considered one of the oldest in the world east of Iran—remains the one in Kochi.
In the first century CE, India's spices—especially black pepper and malabathrum (a type of cinnamon)—became an important commodity in trade with the eastern Mediterranean.
Demand for spices used in seasoning and preservation in the West spurred trade with India for cardamom, ginger, turmeric, saffron, nutmeg, and clove.