Early Explorations

By rcno04
  • Feb 1, 1000

    1000 Leif Eriksson

    1000 Leif Eriksson
    Leif Eriksson lands in present day Newfoundland
  • Sep 1, 1076

    Ghana - Trading Empire

    In 1076 people from North Africa called Almoravids attacked Ghana and disrupted its trade routes.
  • Jan 1, 1095

    Beginning of European Exploration

    Beginningn in 1095, the Europeans launched the first of nine expeditions, know as the Crusades, to regain control of their holy sites.
  • Jan 1, 1200

    Sailors begin using compasses

    The magnetic compass allowed sailors to determine their direction when they were far from land.
  • Jan 1, 1271

    Marco Polo travels to China

    In 1271 Marco Polo set off from Italy across Asia to China. He was only 17 years old at that time.
  • Jan 1, 1324

    Mansa Musa makes pilgrimage to Makkah

    In 1324 Musa, a Muslim made a grand pilgrimage to the Muslim holy city of Makkah in western Saudi Arabia.
  • Jan 1, 1400

    Caravel invented

    Caravel invented
    In the late 1400's the Portuguese developed the three-masted caravel. The caravel lsailed faster than earlier ships and carried more cargo and food supplies.
  • Sep 1, 1400

    Renaissance spreads throughout Europe

    The period of intellectual and artistic creativity became know as the Renaissance. It means "re-birth" and refers to the renewed interest in classical Greek and Roman learning.
  • Jan 1, 1450


    In the 1450's the introduction of movable type and the printing press made it much easier to print books allowing more people access to books and new information.
  • Jan 1, 1468

    Songhai people capture Timbuktu

    The Songhai people built a navy to control the Niger and in 1468 captured Timbuktu.
  • Jan 1, 1487

    Bartholomeu Dias

    Bartholomeu Dias
    Bartholomeu Dias sent to explore the southernmost part of Africa. As he approaches the area he runs into a storm he calls the "Cape of Storms" later known as the Cape of Good Hope.
  • Oct 12, 1492

    Christopher Columbus

    Christopher Columbus
    Christopher Columbus lands in the Americas
  • Jan 1, 1497

    John Cabot sails rout to Asia

    In 1497 England sent John Cabot, an Italian, to look for a northern route to Asia. England used Cabot's voyage as the basis for its claim to North America.
  • Jan 1, 1498

    Vasco da Gama reaches India

    Vasco da Gama reaches India
    da Gama reaches the port of Calicut in 1498, completing the long-awaited eastern sea route to Asia.
  • Jan 1, 1519

    Ferdinand Magellan circumnavigation of the world

    Ferdinand Magellan circumnavigation of the world
    Spain hired Ferdinand Magellan, a Portugues mariner, to lead an expedition of five ships. They sailed from Spain and headed west across the Atlantic Ocean and then south along the eastern coast of South America.
  • Jan 1, 1524

    Giovanni da Verrazano

    IN 1524 France hired an Italian, Giovanni da Verrazano, to look for the northern sea route. Verrazano explored the coast of North America from present-day Nova Scotia down to the Carolinas.
  • Jan 1, 1532

    Francisco Pizarro captures Atahualpa

    Francisco Pizarro captures Atahualpa
    The conquistador Francisco Pizarro sailed down the Pacific coast of South America with about 180 Spanish soldiers.
  • Jan 1, 1541

    De Soto crosses the Mississippi River

    De Soto crosses the Mississippi River
    Hernando de Soto described the Mississippi River as swift and very deep. While traveling the Mississippi he died of fever andn his men buried him in the waters of the Mississippi River.
  • Hudson's Discoveries

    Netherlands wanted a passage through the America's so they hired Henry Hudson to explore. In 1906 he discovered the river that now bears his name.
  • Dutch Settlements

    In 1621 the Dutch West India Company set up a trading colony - New Netherland - in the area Hudson had explored.