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American Web

The network of trade that linked parts of the pre-Columbian Americas. Provided a means of exchange for luxury goods and ideas over large areas

Black Death

Name given to the massive epidemic that swept Eurasia in the 14th century

Bubonic Plague

A highly fatal disease spread by fleas, that devastated the Mediterranean world


The largest Buddhism monument anywhere in the world. Example of cultural exchange and syncretism

Jie People

A nomadic people who controlled much of Northern China in the third and 4th centuries

Ghana, Mali, Songhay

A series of important states that developed in the western and central Sudan, in response to the economic opportunities of trans-Saharan trade

Ibn Battuta

A famous Arab scholar, merchant and public official who visited much of the Islamic world in the 14th century

Great Zimbabwe

A powerful state in the African interior that apparently emerged from the growing trade in gold to the East African coast

Indian Ocean Trade Network

The world's largest sea-based system of communication and trade before 1500ce

Oasis cities of Central Asia

Cities such as Merv, Samarkand, Khotan and Dunhuang that became centers of trans-Eurasian trade


a kingdom of central Java that flourished from the 8th century to the 10th century


Alternating wind currents that blew eastward across the Indian Ocean in the summer and westward during the winter


Professional merchants among the Aztecs


Speakers of Austronesian languages from what is now Indonesia who became major traders in Southeast Asia and Madagascar


A large region of West Africa that became part of a major exchange circuit

Sand Roads

the routes of the trans-Saharan trade in Africa

Silk Roads

Land based trade routes that linked the distant peoples of Eurasia

Swahili Civilization

An East African civilization that emerged in the 8th century from a blending of Bantu, Islamic and other Indian Ocean trade elements


A Malay kingdom that dominated the straits of Malacca between 670 and 1025 ce. Noted for its creation of native/indian hybrid culture


An Italian city that by 1000 ce emerged as a major center of Mediterranean trade

trans-Saharan slave trade

A fairly small-scale trade that developed in the 12th century with west African slaves captured in raids being exported across the Sahara for sale mostly as household servants in Islamic North Africa

Third-Wave Civilizations

Civilizations that emerged between 500 and 1500 ce and were typified by intensifying trade networks

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