Spices, silk, and gun powder were among the goods that were often exchanged along the Indian Ocean trade route that originated in China. Gold was obtained from the east coast of Africa, and slaves were traded there before being sent to other parts of the continent. The primary exports from India were spices, textiles, minerals, and jewelry.
What products were traded on the Indian Ocean?
Indian Ocean Trade Network
Frankincense and myrrh were burned inside of this bronze cup that originated in southwestern Arabia. It is embellished with many representations of old South Arabian deities, such as a crescent moon, snakes, and ibex, which are a sort of wild mountain goat.
- The burning of frankincense and myrrh, two forms of incense that emit a pleasant perfume when they are consumed, was an integral component of the religious rites practiced by peoples from civilizations spanning the Arabian Peninsula, the Mediterranean, and the Near East.
- They were also employed as a medication and for the purpose of embalming ancient Egyptian mummies in addition to their function as an insect repellent.
The dried sap of plants that are native to Southern Arabia, Ethiopia, and Somalia is used to make frankincense and myrrh. During the time of the Classical Era, Arab merchants used camel caravans to convey these goods over the deserts of the Arabian Peninsula.
- Other goods that were transported in these caravans included spices, gold, ivory, pearls, valuable stones, and textiles.
- This commercial route, also known as the Incense Road, reached as far north as the city of Gaza, which is located on the Mediterranean.
- From then, frankincense and myrrh were carried all the way to Asia via the Roman Empire.
Many people were made to believe that southern Arabia was a spectacularly affluent area because of the availability of a trade product that was both pricey and desirable. Because of this, the area came to be known as Arabia Felix, which literally translates to “Arabia the Blessed” or “Happy Arabia.”