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. (pron. BORE-ahboo-DOOR)
A highly fatal disease transmitted by fleas; it devastated the Mediterranean world between 534 and 750 C.E. and again in the period 1346-1350 C.E.
Ghana, Mali, 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). (pron. GAH-nah, MAHlee, song-GAH-ee)
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. (pron. ibn bat-TOOT-ah)
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.
A nomadic people who controlled much of northern China in the third and fourth centuries; many converted to Buddhism. (pron. gee)
Speakers of Austronesian languages from what is now Indonesia who became major traders in Southeast Asia and Madagascar.
monsoons: Alternating wind currents that blew eastward across the Indian Ocean in the summer and westward in the winter, facilitating trade.
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 eighth century to the tenth century C.E.; noted for being deeply influenced by Indian culture. (pron. sigh-LEN-drahs)
A Malay kingdom that dominated the Straits of Malacca between 670 and 1025 C.E.; noted for its creation of a native/Indian hybrid culture. (pron. sree-vih-JUH-yah)
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. (pron. swah-HEE-lee)
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.