300 BCE-600 BCE
I. The Silk Road A. Origins and Operations
-The Chinese General Zhang Jian is credited as “originator of overland trade with the western lands.” He made 18 expeditions across deserts to west; he first went to Ferghana river-valley. Helped to introduce new plants and trees to China through the trade.
- Long-distance trade was made important by China’s demand for western products. Nomadic steppe people didn’t trade very much but controlled areas of the Silk Road and sold pack animal’s that were necessary for early traders.
-By 100 BCE, China could trade with civilizations as far away as Greece.
-Everyone traded spices, fruits, seeds crops, metals, medicines, animals and animal products, and art. (ex: pottery)
B. The Sasanid Empire, 224-600
- In present-day Iran, helped long-distance trade along the Silk Road. Cities were military strongholds that protected this trade instead of producing products for trade.
-Sasanids traded crops with Mesopotamia
-Religious persecution throughout Europe and Asia as religion was used as a political tool (official faiths)
-Silk Road helped spread and preserve religions.
C. The Impact of the Silk Road
-It helped the spread of people throughout the continent.
-It helped spread cultures, languages, and religions.
-It helped spread technology and military technology like the stirrup.
II. The Indian Ocean Maritime Society
-A trading network that centered around the Indian Ocean, it connected East Africa, Southern Arabia, the Persian Gulf, India, Southeast Asia, and China.
- Trade took place mainly in East coast of India to Southeast Asian Islands, China and the South China Sea, and the Persian Gulf to the east coast of Africa and west coast of India.
-The Indian Ocean trade system had bigger and more advanced ships and sails in order to take advantage of the monsoon winds.
- The trade network had more advanced navigation system than the Mediterranean because the ocean was larger and sailors could no longer follow the coast.
- Merchants and sailors were traveling farther distance so they tended to sever their political ties to their hometown.
A. Origins of Contact and Trade
-In 2000 BC, the Sumerians traded with Mesopotamia, the Persian Gulf, Oman, and the Indus Valley. Eventually the trade broke off and the Sumerians traded mostly with East Africa.
B. The Impact of Indian Ocean Trade
-The high demand for luxuries made the need for long ocean voyages necessary, and goods were spread far and wide all over the continents of Asia, Europe, and Africa. The Indian Ocean trade system had a wide variety of items up for trade and had a much higher volume of trade.
-The cultures and society of some Indian Ocean trading ports tended to be more isolated from the mainland because of geographical challenges. Others were very open, hospitable and open, becoming major centers of trade.
-Women were not part of sea voyages and men tended to marry women on the ports that they landed in, at the same time spreading their hometown language and culture. The offspring had mixed heritages and a lot of cultural diversity.
III. Routes Across the Sahara
-The Sahara is a desert the reaches from the Red Sea to the Atlantic Ocean, with the sub-Saharan area to the south separated from the Mediterranean. Water is scare in the desert and travel and trade was limited to a few routes across the Saharan.
A. Early Saharan Cultures
-Early cave paintings by hunters suggest the Sahara wasn’t always a desert, but once fertile grassland. These paintings also show the hunting societies being joined by pastoral herders, herding mainly cattle. Horse herders probably succeeded the cattle herders and the artwork shows chariots which is a mystery because no evidence of chariots or Mediterranean chariot riders has been found.
-Arrival of camels and domestication of them happened around 46 BC and made it easier for desert