Trade Developments and Networks by way of the Indian Ocean

Timeline created by PMcCandless001
  • 5,000 BCE

    Incense (Goods)

    Incense (Goods)
    "This incense was prized in India, in the Mediterranean region, and in east Africa for its wonderful smell. It was in high demand for use in temples, as medicine, and in perfumes. Ubar is believed to have thrived as a center for incense transport and sale from around 2800 BCE to 300 CE. The incense trade began as early as 5000 BCE by sea and land from this hub in Oman on the southern Arabian Peninsula." (Indian Ocean In World History)
  • 1,000 BCE

    Sugar Cane (Goods)

    Sugar Cane (Goods)
    "From its origins in Southeast Asia, by 1000 BCE, sugar cane had reached India, where it was cultivated on a larger scale. In addition to growing sugar cane in irrigated fields, it was hybridized, or cross-pollinated, with other varieties of cane." (Indian Ocean in World History)
  • 1,000 BCE

    Jar Burials

    Jar Burials
    "Instead of placing the dead in graves dug in the ground, the bodies were placed in very large, decorated ceramic jars in the shape of globes. Grave goods such as carved beads, shell jewelry and other items were placed in the jar with the body. Some show traces of silk or other fine clothing." (Indian Ocean In World History)
  • -900 BCE

    The Kamal (Technological Advance)

    The Kamal (Technological Advance)
    "The kamal is a simple navigation device used by Arab navigators in the Indian Ocean since ancient times. It consists of a small, rectangular card with a knotted cord passed through it. The purpose of the kamal was to determine latitude at sea by observing the distance between the horizon and a particular star at the same time each night." (Indian Ocean In World History,The Mariners Museum and Parks )
  • -771 BCE

    Zhou Kingdom Ends in China

    "The Zhou Dynasty came to an end during the Warring States period in 256 BCE, when the army of the state of Qin captured the city of Chengzhou and the last Zhou ruler, King Nan, was killed." (Violatti, 2014)
  • -500 BCE

    Hanno (Explorer & Founder of Libyphoenician Cities)

    Hanno (Explorer & Founder of Libyphoenician Cities)
    "Hanno, a government official whose title translates as 'king,' was sent to explore Libya...His route, marked in red in the map, extended from the Straits of Gibraltar, or the Pillars of Herakles, around the African coast as far down as present-day Gabon. Hanno's mission was to found cities for Libyphoenicians...he successfully established several colonies along the Moroccan coast..." (Indian Ocean In World History)
  • -336 BCE

    Alexander the Great (Significant Person)

    Alexander the Great (Significant Person)
    "Over the course of eleven years, Alexander the Great defeated the Persian Empire (550-330 BCE) and extended Greek control over lands in western Asia, Egypt, Central Asia, and the Indus Valley. He also founded the city of Alexandria in Egypt, which would become a major center of art and trade. The territories he conquered are marked in blue on the map below." (Indian Ocean In World History)
  • -100 BCE

    Isodorus of Garax

    Isodorus of Garax
    "...a vast expansion in international trade between the following five neighboring powers: Roman Empire,Parthian Empire,Kushan Empire, Nomadic Confederation of the Xiongnu, and Han Empire. However, due to limited knowledge of the region's geography, traveling by land or sea was an immensely challenging task. Isodorus of Charax, a Parthian Greek from the city of Charax, near modern-day Tehran, Iran, wrote several books documenting the geography of this vast region" (Indian Ocean In World History)
  • -64 BCE

    Strabo the Geographer

    Strabo the Geographer
    "...traveled as far as the Red Sea, and on its ships and in its ports he could hear about other lands. His account of India carefully weighs the information he was given, even though he himself never went there. Strabo mentioned Pliny, Megasthenes and other writers on geography and natural history. Later scholars have read Strabo's Geography and created the map above based on his information on the size and location of various lands." (Lasserre, Indian Ocean In World History)
  • 150

    Kushan Gold Coin (Currency of Indian Ocean)

    Kushan Gold Coin (Currency of Indian Ocean)
    "The Kushans, an Indo-European people who were once part of the tribal group known as the Yuezhis, participated in maritime and overland trade with the other major empires of this time period: The Romans, the Parthians, and the Hans. Their empire was ideally located along both the "Silk Road" and the Indian Ocean, which gave them direct access to the ports of the Arabian Peninsula." (Indian Ocean In World History)
  • 450

    Phoenicians (The Alphabet)

    Phoenicians (The Alphabet)
    "The Phoenicians imported and exported items like wine, olives and olive oil, wheat, spices, metals, honey, and cedar wood...The stone marker shown here, known as the Yehawmilk Stele, is an example of another Phoenician advancement: the alphabet. The stele, which dates from about 450 BCE, contains a 14-line inscription. The writing system developed by the Phoenicians was passed along to the Greeks, and is the basis of the alphabet used in most Western languages." (Indian Ocean In World History)
  • Period:
    8,000 BCE
    to
    5,000 BCE

    Bananas (Goods)

    "Evidence from word origins in Madagascar might point to banana cultivation in Africa after that time. During the classical era, bananas spread as a crop and a food into China, and may have been known in parts of the Middle East." (Indian Ocean In World History)
  • Period:
    -610 BCE
    to
    -595 BCE

    Pharaoh Necho

    "Necho II, began building a canal linking the Nile River and the Red Sea, called the Arabian Gulf by Herodotus...he eventually abandoned the project after realizing that it gave the Babylonians, who at the time were at war with Egypt, easy access for attacking Egyptian territory...the canal could become choked with sand after it was built and...there was a fear that the fresh water of the Nile would become salty and ruin Egypt's agriculture and population" (Indian Ocean In World History)
  • Period:
    -601 BCE
    to
    -700 BCE

    Indigo Dye (Goods)

    "The indigo plant was a valuable plant found in documents as early as the 7th century BCE, in Babylon, and later also mentioned in Greek, and Roman sources. Chinese silks were also dyed with indigo during this period. As the name shows, indigo was first cultivated for dye in India, and supplied other societies with cakes of the dyestuff through long-distance trade." (Indian Ocean In World History)
  • Period:
    -510 BCE
    to
    -515 BCE

    Scylax of Caryanda Voyage

    "...sailed along the shore toward the west, followed it to the mouth, and then sailed along the shore westwards...reached Harmozeia in the Arabian (Persian) Gulf near the Straits of Hormuz, and then crossed over to Oman, near Maka, and sailed along the southern shore of the Arabian Peninsula...stopped at the Yemeni ports, and then sailed up the Red Sea to the Suez...he was famous for this voyage, brought news of these regions that encouraged trade expeditions." (Indian Ocean In World History)
  • Period:
    -400 BCE
    to
    300

    Isthmus of Kra

    "As early as the fourth century BCE, traders from India reached the rest of Southeast Asia by crossing the Isthmus of Kra, rather than making the longer and more difficult journey around the entire Malay Peninsula...first century CE, trade goods were regularly transported across the Indian Ocean, overland through the Isthmus of Kra, and up to China. Merchants continued to use this trade route..throughout the second and third centuries CE." (Indian Ocean In World History)
  • Period:
    -332 BCE
    to
    200

    Alexandria (Major Port)

    When Egypt became part of the Roman Empire during the first century CE, Alexandria's ideal location along both the Mediterranean Sea and the Nile River made it the center of trade routes connecting Rome to inner Africa, the deserts of the Arabian Peninsula, and Asia. Christianity arrived in Egypt during this period, and by the mid-second century CE Alexandria had also become a center of Christian scholarship.
  • Period:
    -206 BCE
    to
    220

    Han Dynasty

    "Han Dynasty rules in China until Qin emperor unites eastern China in 221 CE" (Indian Ocean In World History)
  • Period:
    -100 BCE
    to
    AD 1

    Muziris (Port)

    "Muziris was an ancient port city in today's Indian state of Kerala. It was a famous trading market for Roman-Indian trade in southern India. Archaeological work has brought up many pieces of Roman and local ceramics, Roman and Indian coins, and amphorae (tall jugs with handles) that held wine, oil or other liquids for shipment." (Indian Ocean In World History
  • Period:
    563
    to
    -483 BCE

    Buddhism begins

    "Life of Siddhartha Gautama known as Buddha, in India, and the beginning of Buddhism as a religion" (Indian Ocean In World History)