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The Year 1000: When Explorers Connected the World – and Globalization Began
When did globalization begin? Most observers have settled on 1492, the year Columbus discovered America. But as celebrated Yale professor Valerie Hansen shows, it was the year 1000, when for the first time new trade routes linked the entire globe, so an object could in theory circumnavigate the world. This was the ‘big bang’ of globalization, which ushered in a new era of exploration and trade, and which paved the way for Europeans to dominate after Columbus reached America.
Drawing on a wide range of new historical sources and cutting-edge archaeology, Hansen shows, for example, that the Maya began to trade with the native peoples of modern New Mexico from traces of theobromine – the chemical signature of chocolate – and that frozen textiles found in Greenland contain hairs from animals that could only have come from North America. Introducing players from Europe, the Islamic world, Asia, the Indian Ocean maritime world, the Pacific and the Mayan world who were connecting the major landmasses for the first time, this compelling revisionist argument shows how these encounters set the stage for the globalization that would dominate the world for centuries to come.
Trade, we are still arguing about trade, it opens the world up, it causes wars, it creates huge wealth, and huge poverty. From the earliest archaeological records mankind has been trading. By the year 1000 global trade was flourishing. China was the most populous land, its ships sailed from Indonesia, India, Africa, Arabia. And on to Europe. The Silk Road connected China with the west by land.
And they were not the only traders . In South America the Mayans traded, their chocolate has been as far north as Illinois dated around 1000.The road network around the Americas was extensive.
A great account of the whole world in the year 1000. Essential reading for our times.