Indian Ocean Trade Routes

Timeline created by wrhummel
  • 3,000 BCE

    Origins of Indian Ocean trade routes.

  • 3,000 BCE

    First interactions

    First interactions
    Travelers in small canoes and rafts moved between towns and trading ports along coastlines from Arabia to the Indian subcontinent.
  • -500 BCE

    Greek and Roman sailors and traders enter the Indian Ocean

    Traded ceramics, glassware, wine, gold, olive oil.
  • -326 BCE

    Nearchus

    Nearchus
    A naval officer for Alexander the Great who led his fleet from the Indus River to the Persian Gulf.
  • -323 BCE

    Ptolemies learned about monsoon system in Indian Ocean.

    Ptolemies learned about monsoon system in Indian Ocean.
  • -323 BCE

    Sea lanes joined Asia, Africa and the Mediterranean into one network.

    Sea lanes joined Asia, Africa and the Mediterranean into one network.
    India traded spices and pepper.
    Persia and Egypt traded grain.
    Mediterranean traded wine and oil.
  • -118 BCE

    Eudoxus of Cyzicus

    Greek explorer who traveled the monsoon wind system of the Indian Ocean bringing back cargo of precious stones and aromatics. His second trip was a failure as he disappeared on the return voyage.
  • 78

    The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea

    The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea
    A guide to travel and trade in the Indian Ocean by a first century merchant.
  • Period:
    2,600 BCE
    to
    1,900 BCE

    Extensive trade between Harappa and Mesopotamia.

    Millet and sorghum — grains imported from the East African coast — were part of the cuisine of the Harappan civilization, which stretched across today’s Pakistan and northern India. The Harappan's likely received woolen textiles in exchange.
  • Period:
    2,300 BCE
    to
    1,760 BCE

    Cotton textiles

    India produced and traded cotton textiles, replacing wool clothing worn in most countries.
  • Period:
    -600 BCE
    to
    750

    Foreign merchants and missionaries spread religion.

    Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism - 600 BCE - 300 BCE
    Christianity - 100 CE - 700 CE
    Islam - 632 CE - 75- CE
  • Period:
    -600 BCE
    to
    600

    The Dhow

    The dhow was a sailing vessel utilized on these trades routes to transport merchandise. When coupled with the lateen sail (c. 200 CE) it made for an efficient mode of transport.
  • Period:
    -63 BCE
    to
    14

    Expansion of trade due to the Pax Romana.

    Begun under the rule of Augustus Caesar, a period of peace in the Roman Empire allowed trade to flourish.
  • Period:
    161
    to
    180

    Spread of epidemic disease

    The Han Empire and the Roman Empire suffered large-scale outbreaks of epidemic disease, likely due to contact with merchants.