Trade Interaction BeginsFirst instances of trade began. Travelers used small boats or canoes to travel between ports.
Trade beginsTrade began around this time in a more structured way between the East African civilization of Harappa and the civilization of Mesopotamia. Harappa traded grains such as millet and sorghum in exchange for textiles likely made of wool.
CottonIndia began to use cotton in textiles, replacing wool. Cotton trade between India and Mesopotamia increased.
Empires involved in TradeThe empires involved in trade using the Indian Ocean were:
Mauryan Empire - India
Han Dynasty - China
Achaemenid Empire - Persia
Roman Empire - Mediterranean
China silk monopolyChina began trading silk with the Roman empire. Aristocratic members of society saw silk as luxurious.
Invention of the DhowThe invention of the dhow shipping vessel saw more efficient trade begin. The dhow had one or more masts with sails and was great at carrying heavier loads.
Greek and Roman involvementAround 500BCE Greek and Roman sailors began to trade using Indian Ocean trade routes. They would trade goods such as gold, wine, olive oil and ceramics.
NearchusA prominent source of knowledge of the trade routes of this time comes from the account of Nearchus, a friend and navel officer of Alexander the Great. He documented his travel with his fleet from the Indus River to the Persian Gulf.
Discovery of Monsoon SystemEgyptians discovered the seasonal Indian Ocean monsoon wind systems and adapted that knowledge to made trade safer and more efficient throughout the area.
Sea lanes used for tradeCommon goods traded at this time period were:
India - spices and pepper
Persia and Egypt - grain
Mediterranean - oil and wine
DiseaseMore trade routes were emerging and with the influx of trade, diseases began to spread. Many people who were never exposed to illnesses like smallpox became infected and died.
Invention of Iateen sailThe usage of this triangular shaped sail made dhow boats and trade faster and more effective.
The Periplus of the Erythraen SeaAround this time a Roman document, written in Greek surfaced with a likely firsthand account of port locations and effective trade routes.
Period:3,000 BCEto-1 BCE
Identifying NetworksCivilizations involved in trade using the Indian Ocean in the classical era were China, India, East Africa, Arabia, and Southeast Asia.
Period:-750 BCEto-600 BCE
Spread of ReligionForeign merchants and missionaries began to spread religion throughout the area.
600BCE - 300BCE - Jainism, Buddhism, Hinduism
100CE - 700CE - Christianity
632BCE - 75CE - Islam