With the organization of large-scale empires, the volume of long-distance trade increased dramatically. Much of this trade resulted from the demand for raw materials and luxury goods. Land and water routes linked many regions of the Eastern Hemisphere. The exchange of people, technology, religious and cultural beliefs, food crops, domesticated animals, and disease pathogens developed alongside the trade in goods across extensive networks of communication and exchange. In the Americas and Oceania, localized networks developed.
Trade networks developed along land and water routes in the Eastern Hemisphere.
- Eurasian Silk Roads
- Trans-Saharan caravan routes
- Indian Ocean sea lanes
- Mediterranean sea lanes
New technologies facilitated long-distance trade.
- domesticated pack animals
- maritime technologies
- knowledge of monsoon winds
People, technology, religious and cultural beliefs, food crops, domesticated animals, and disease pathogens spread along trade routes.
- rice and cotton from South Asia to the Middle East
- qanat system
- water wheels - noria, sakia
- wells and pumps - shaduf
- syncretic transformations to Christianity, Hinduism, and Buddhism