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Islamic North Africa – caravans across the Sahara

By |2018-02-22T09:23:58+00:00October 3rd, 2017|Africa, History|

Islamic North Africa: Kairouan mosque (ca. 800 AD) The Eastern Roman reconquest of North Africa in the 530s AD ended the Vandal kingdom there. But trade declined until the Islamic invasions of North Africa in the 600s AD and the establishment of the Umayyad, and then the Fatimid dynasties. Fatimids Under Islamic rule, North Africa became part of a [...]

Salt caravans in Africa and China

By |2018-04-10T00:13:56+00:00June 23rd, 2017|Africa, Economy, Food|

A salt caravan across the Sahara Desert By 252 BC, a Chinese governor named Li Bing also figured out how to mine salt. People dug deep pits down to where there were natural underground salt water pools, and forced the salty water out through bamboo pipes. People in China generally didn't sprinkle salt [...]

The Silk Road and Afro-Eurasian trade

By |2018-04-19T10:21:04+00:00June 12th, 2017|Economy, Medieval|

Silk Road trade: Chinese coin of the Han Empress Kuo Empires and the Silk Road Starting in the 500s BC, governments started to come together into empires. Travel got safer. Traders could travel long distances without running into wars. The Sogdians in Central Asia (Afghanistan and Uzbekistan) began to sell horses to the [...]

Where do camels come from?

By |2018-04-19T08:38:14+00:00June 12th, 2017|Central Asia, Economy|

History of camels: A group of camels North American wild camels Wild camels first originated in North America. Before the last Ice Age, they spread from North America to East Asia. From East Asia, camels reached Central Asia and Iran and Arabia. Other camels moved south to South America, where they became llamas and [...]

Salt Caravans

By |2018-04-10T00:13:55+00:00May 19th, 2017|Africa, China, Food|

A salt caravan across the Sahara Desert Mining salt in antiquity The salt trade, already important in the Bronze Age, grew more and more important over time. By 252 BC, a Chinese governor named Li Bing also figured out how to mine salt. People dug deep pits down to where there were natural [...]