Indian Ocean Trade

Timeline created by SPritchett
  • 5,000 BCE


    Incense was popular during the Classical Period. It was used in temples, medicine, perfume, and mummification.
  • 2,800 BCE


    Ubar was a trade center for incense for over 1,000 years; into the Classical period.
  • 1,000 BCE

    Goods-Sugar Cane

    Sugar cane reached India from Southeast Asia. It was popular in trade as it became a luxury for cooking, sweetening, and also medicine.
  • -700 BCE

    People-Pharaoh Necho II

    Necho ordered a voyage of Phoenician sailors to explore the surrounding seas of Africa. This gave Egyptians a better understanding of the coastal geography of Africa.
  • -510 BCE

    People-Scylax of Caryanda

    Scylax went exploring under orders of King Darius of Persia. He sailed through the Arabian Sea, Persian Gulf, Oman, Arabian Peninsula, and the Red Sea. This encouraged trade expeditions. He also wrote a handbook for mariners.
  • -500 BCE


    Hanno from Carthage sailed around the western coast of Africa. He logged the earliest known description of west Africa.
  • -500 BCE

    Technology-Camel Saddle

    The saddle allowed pastoral nomads to ride camels further distances and carry a load of goods both appropriately and comfortably for the animal.
  • -332 BCE


    Alexandria was founded by Alexander the Great. It was named the capital of Egypt for nearly a millennium. As a trading center, it was influenced by Greek and Roman culture.
  • -300 BCE

    Affects of Trade-Hinduism

    Hinduism spread through merchants and the use of Hindi numerals during trade.
  • -206 BCE


    Cloves, native to the Maluku Islands in Indonesia, were traded from Europe to China. It was a luxury item for cooking, medicine, and aiding in bad breath.
  • -200 BCE

    Affects of Trade-Buddism

    The increase in trade to Southeast Asia caused influences of Indian culture and religion.
  • -100 BCE

    Affects of Trade-Disease

    Diseases, such as smallpox, the bubonic plague, and measles, among Rome and China caused their empires to weaken.
  • -4 BCE


    The Phoenicians exported luxury red/purple cloth. They also imported and exported wine, olives, olive oil, wheat, spices, metals, honey, and cedar wood.
  • -4 BCE

    Posts-Isthmus of Kra

    Traders from India crossed the Isthmus of Kra to reach Southeast Asia. This was much shorter and easier than going around Malay Peninsula.
  • 20


    Strabo is the author of "Geography". He collected and compared scholarships to create a map of what he believed were the size and locations of the world beyond the Mediterranean.
  • 100


    Pearls were considered ideal for trade as they did not take up much storage space. It was used in jewelry, decoration, and crushed to a powder to use in medicine.
  • 100

    Technology-Phoenicians Ships

    The ship transported large amounts of goods. The ship was approximately 65-100 feet long and 20 feet wide. It was about to house a 20 men crew.
  • 100


    Muziris was a trading market in Southeast India. It contained cargo from Arabia and Greece. Coins and amphorae have been found through excavation.
  • 300


    Palmyra connected the Silk Road (Europe to China) and the Incense Road (goods transported through the Arabian Peninsula).
  • 900


    The Kamal was a navigational tool used by Arab navigators. The tool determined longitude through observing the distance from a constant star each night and the horizon.
  • Period:
    5,000 BCE

    Indian Ocean Trade