Indian Ocean Trade System

More impressive, less known Silk Road


-all along the eastern side of Africa

-up and around Saudi Arabia

-along the coast around Asia

-ends at the north-eastern tip of China

-also includes Indonesia and some other island


Not just luxury goods!

Large boats made it possible to carry items in bulk / bigger items!!

Some of the main exports

Made possible by monsoons!

Monsoons and their impact on the Indian Ocean trade route

Monsoon: a warm wind that brings rain, follows a schedule, very predictable

-made travel easier and less risky

-carried ships at specific times in the year

Spreading of ideas and new inventions

Spread Islamic religion all the way to Indonesia!

Brought up many important city centers such as the Swahili Coast and Srivijaya!

Lead to the creation of: the astrolabe, the magnetic compass, stern post rudders for ships, along with the triangular lateen sail!

What else was traded?

Africa- timber, animal skins/hides, ivory, gold

China- silk & porcelain

India- cotton cloth & ivory

SE Asia- spices & rice

Sri Lanka- black pepper

Muslim/Islamic state- coffee, books, weapons

And many more valuables!!

"Reliance on trade makes you especially vulnerable to the people."

-John Green