What types of items and technological advances were spread by long-distance trade, what factors allowed for this spread and what were its consequences? This question refers to Chapter 21 in Traditions & Encounters by Bentley and Ziegler.
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This chapter discusses the time period from 1000 to 1500 CE. The chapter discusses the ways in which long-distance trade and travel promoted interactions between various cultures. The answers you are looking for can be found in a subsection entitled “Long-Distance Travel and Cross-Cultural Exchanges.”
Of course, the authors of this book do not try to list every kind of technology that was spread by long-distance trade. Instead, they mention a few major types. One of these is maritime technology. The example that they give of maritime technology is the magnetic compass. They say that it was invented in China and spread throughout the Indian Ocean and eventually to Europe. This diffusion allowed for greater amounts of trade and exploration. A second type is agricultural technology. Specifically, they mention that crops diffused during this time. They say that citrus and rice came from Asia to sub-Saharan Africa. They mention that sugarcane spread to places like Sicily and Cyprus. Finally, they mention gunpowder technology. This was also invented in China and spread west from there.
As these technologies spread, they changed people’s lives. They changed the nature of warfare, making it more deadly. They changed the things that people ate, giving them more varied diets. They changed life by increasing the amount of trade that went on between areas of the world.
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