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Comparing the Trans-Saharan & Silk Road Trade Routes

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Presentation on theme: "Comparing the Trans-Saharan & Silk Road Trade Routes"— Presentation transcript:

1 Comparing the Trans-Saharan & Silk Road Trade Routes

2 Essential Questions How were the Trans-Saharan Trade and the Silk Road similar? How were these trade routes different?

3 Similarities Both brought wealth and access to foreign products and enabled people to concentrate their efforts on economic activities best suited to their regions. The accumulation of wealth along both routes encouraged nomadic invasions. Both facilitated the spread of religious traditions beyond their original homelands.

4 The Silk Road

5 Where did the Silk Road go?
Linked China and the Holy Roman Empire The two extreme ends of Eurasia There the road split into two main branches that went around the Taklamakan desert to the north and south In northern Iran, the route joined with trade ports on the Caspian Sea and the Persian Gulf and proceeded to Palmyra (modern Syria) There it met roads coming from Arabia and ports on the Red Sea The Silk Roads also provided access at ports like Guangzhou in southern China that led to sea routes to India and Ceylon (modern-day Sri Lanka)

6 The Silk Road

7 All of the 4 major religions spread through Silk Road…
Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam all spread along the silk road. Religion Indian merchants brought by Brahmin priests Buddhism was also popular amongst the trade route Muslim scholars brought by Arab merchants Christian merchants brought by priests

8 The Trans-Saharan/Sand Road
Began with Soninke Empire (Ghana) in the 5th century Linked North Africa, the Mediterranean world, and West Africa Was primarily conducted over land

9 Sahara Desert World’s largest desert

10 More important than the wheel…
Made possible by the CAMEL! The pack camel was arguably the most important innovation to civilization since the wheel. Came from North Africa to Arabia around 7th Century BCE.

11 Camel and the Silk & Saharan Trade
Camels were vital in both the Trans-Saharan and Silk Road trade routes. The dromedary camel (1hump) was native of the Saharan region and the bactrian camel (2 hump) was native to the Eurasian steppe. The bactrian was more bulky and suitable for extremely cold and dry climates in Iran and Central Asia.

12 Trans-Saharan Traders
1st traders = camel-owning people from desert oases Major traders = North African Muslim Arabs What did they come to West Africa and sub-Saharan Africa for? GOLD AND SLAVES in the South SALT in the North Salt Mines Gold Mines

13 Salt Mines Gold Mines Back

14 Caravans As many as 5,000 camels Hundreds of people
Travelling at night Length of journey = about 70 days 15-20 miles walked per day

15 Construction of Empires
New wealth and resources from trans-Saharan trade allowed some regions to construct large empires or city-states Between 500 and 1600 CE Major empires = Mali, Ghana, and Songhai Trading Language Swahili: mix of Arabic, Indian, and Bantu (African)

16 Ghana CE Ghana was called the “land of gold” but it did not have gold. Instead, the trade routes passed through Ghana and the kings of Ghana taxed all entering and exiting the kingdom. The kingdom of Ghana emerged as early as 500 CE. It collapsed in the 11th century. The kings of Ghana used their wealth to build a powerful army and keep the peace within their empire. Muslims, invaded and destroyed Ghana in the 1100s but another West African kingdom rose to power to protect the valuable Salt for Gold Trade.

17 Cities Within the Kingdoms
Urban and commercial centers Traders met and exchanged goods there Centers of manufacturing Items created: beads, iron tools, cotton textiles, etc. Spread of Islam along the Tran-Saharan trade route. Mosque in Timbuktu (in Mali)

18 Checking For Understanding
Provide at least 3 similarities and differences between the two trade routes. Why is the assertion made that camels were the biggest advancement to civilization since the wheel?

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