A term used to describe the network of trade that linked parts of the pre-Columbian Americas; although less intense and complete than the Afro-Eurasian trade networks, this web nonetheless provided a means of exchange for luxury goods and ideas over large areas.
The name given to the massive epidemic that swept Eurasia in the fourteenth century C.E.; it may have been bubonic plague, anthrax, or a collection of epidemic diseases.
The largest Buddhist monument ever built, Borobudur is a mountainous ten-level monument with an elaborate carving program, probably built in the ninth century C.E. by the Sailendras rulers of central Java; it is an outstanding example of cultural exchange and syncretism.
A highly fatal disease transmitted by fleas; it devastated the Mediterrean world between 534 and 750 C.E. and again in the period 1346-1350 C.E.
Ghana, Mail, Songhay
A series of important states that developed in western and central Sudan in the period 500-1600 C.e. in response to the economic opportunities of trans-Saharan trade (especially control of gold production)
A powerful state in the African interior that apparently emerged from the growing trade in gold to the East African coast; flourished between 1250 and 1350 C.E.
A famous Muslim traveler who visited much of the Islamic world in the fourteenth century and wrote a major account of what he saw.
Indian Ocean trading network
The world's largest sea-based system of communication and exchange before 1500 C.E., Indian Ocean commerce stretched from southern China to eastern Africa and included not only the exchange of luxury and bulk goods but also the exchange of ideas and crops.
Speakers of Austronesian languages from what is now Indonesia who became major traders in Southeast Asia and Madagascar.
Alternating wind currents that blew eastward across the Indian Ocean in the summer and westward int he winter, facilitating trade.
oasis cities of Central Asia
Cities such as Merv, Samarkand, Khotan, and Dunhuang that became centers of trans-Eurasian trade.
Professional merchants among the Aztecs.
A term used to describe the routes of the trans-Sahara trade in Africa.
Land-based trade routes that linked Eurasia.
A Malay kingdom that dominated the Straits of Malacca between 670-1025 C.E.; noted for its creation of a native/Indian hybrid culture
From the Arabic term for "land of black people," a large region of West Africa that became part of a major exchange circuit.
An East African civilization that emerged in the eighth century C.E. from a blending of Bantu, Islamic, and other Indian Ocean trade elements.
Civilizations that emerged between 500 and 1500 C.E. and were typified by intensifying trade networks.
trans-Saharan slave trade
A fairly small scale trade that developed in the twelfth century C.E. exporting West African slaves captured in raids across the Sahara for sale mostly as household servants in Islamic North Africa; the difficulty of travel across the desert limited the scope of this trade.
An Italian city that by 1000 C.E. emerged as a major center of Mediterranean trade.