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Silk, Sand, and Sea: trade routes and cultural diffusion.

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Presentation on theme: "Silk, Sand, and Sea: trade routes and cultural diffusion."— Presentation transcript:

1 Silk, Sand, and Sea: trade routes and cultural diffusion

2 Why do people trade?

3 What were the significant results of long-distance trade?

4 What the three main routes of long distance trade in the period 500-1500 CE? Silk Roads Indian Ocean routes Sahara Sand routes

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6 Silk Roads: Exchange across Eurasia Emerged from interaction between outer and inner Eurasia. Led to exchange of goods between pastoral and settled peoples. Settled people tried to control the pastoralists, extended the boundaries… Rise of large states also helped: Roman and Chinese states.

7 Silk Roads: Exchange across Eurasia a vast array of goods traveled along the Silk Roads, often by camel –mostly luxury goods for the elite –high cost of transport did not allow movement of staple goods Silk symbolized the Eurasian exchange system –at first, China had a monopoly on silk technology (serious production 3000 BCE; Korea had it by 300 BCE; India by 300 CE) –led to drain of resources from Roman Empire to east –Yet, Romans regarded silk as morally decadent by the sixth century CE, other peoples produced silk: –Byzantine Empire, Japan, Persia silk was used as currency in Central Asia silk was a symbol of high status –sumptuary laws restricted silk clothing to the elite (China and the Byzantine Empire) –silk was sacred in Buddhism and Christianity –silk industry not developed in Western Europe until 12 th century

8 Silk Roads: Exchange across Eurasia Cultures in Transit: Buddhism: spread greatly, voluntary appealed to merchants, snubbed Hindu- influenced caste system Monasteries provided rest stops for merchants Many converts in oasis cities Spread more slowly amongst pastoralists Buddhism itself was transformed: monasteries became rich and more involved in secular world.

9 Silk Roads: Exchange across Eurasia Disease in Transit Long-distance trading led to spread of disease Most lethal junctures: when an unfamiliar disease arrives in a new culture Athens, 430-429 BCE, infect from Egypt Smallpox and measles periodically ravaged the Roman and Han empires. 534-750 CE bubonic plague from India to Mediterranean region Black Death, but much later and largely due to Mongol Empire Strengthened Eurasians over the long run.

10 Sea routes: Exchange across the Indian Ocean Probably most important trade network Monsoon changes were crucial: –Nov-Feb blew to SW –April-Sept blew to NE –Key was regularity Sea transport is cheaper So more bulk goods: textiles, pepper, timber, rice, sugar, wheat Trade was between towns and cities, not states

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12 Sea routes: Exchange across the Indian Ocean Already some trading during Indus Valley period Egyptians and Phoenicians traded along the Red Sea Chinese merchants reached India 100 CE Fulcrum was India: along with trade, spread Buddhism and Hinduism in Southeast Asia. Reunified China (Tang and Song Dynasties, 618- 1279) brought cheap goods and provided markets. Rise of Islam crucial to further spread –widespread conversion made trade move more freely

13 Sea routes: Led to the creation of various states: Srivijaya civilization: Malay sailors gained control of the Straits of Malacca ca. 350 CE. Srivijaya came to dominate trade in this region from 670-1025 CE. Adopted Buddhism and became major center Swahili civilization: Grew from demand for East African products: gold, ivory, quartz, leopard skins, slaves, iron, wood Flourished 1000-1500 CE Very urban and city-state oriented Sharp class distinctions Most trade in Arab ships Great Arab and Muslim influence Trade for gold led to Great Zimbabwe, 1250-1350 CE

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16 Sand Roads: Exchange across the Sahara Commercial Beginnings in West Africa: –North had manufactured goods, salt, horses, cloth, dates –South had crops, gold, ivory, kola nuts, slaves Introduction of camel was crucial, early in CE Regular trans-Saharan commerce by 300-400 CE Huge caravans, up to 5000 camels Led to a number of states in western and central Sudan: Ghana, Mali, Songhay, Kanem, and Hausaland. Slaves came mostly from south, most sold in North Africa.

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18 Quick Write Prompt In your opinion, which of these traded items had the biggest impact on the development of the world: goods or cultural ideas? Explain.


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