The Swahili Corridor

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The Swahili Corridor was the largest trade route of the tenth century, with a power that can only be compared to the power of an empire. The use of trade routes can be seen throughout all of human history. Trading effects the political, economical, and the cultural viewpoints of everyone involved, whether direct or not. Today’s world would not exist if not for the development of trade in the tenth century. During the tenth century, the Swahili Corridor was at full power, creating trade routes that connected East Africa to China and the Mediterranean world. At the same time the Holy Roman Empire was continuing to grow and the Byzantine Empire was at its peak. The Mediterranean World was flourishing. This height of power also called for wealth…show more content…
The Swahili Corridor did not develop its power over night. It started out as small communities of people living along the east coast of Africa. Most of these communities were small, but several grew to house around 10,000 people in them. These people built boats to travel along the coastlines. These boats allowed for the communities to have contact with each other, creating a common culture that linked them together. Before the ninth century, all these settlements were made of the native Africans with no foreign settlements. This did not mean there was no foreign influence at all. By the ninth century, the elite members of these settlements converted to Islam. This can be seen through the evidence of small mosques present in the settlements. Average settlements had around 500 members and the mosques themselves only held around 20 people at a time suggesting that only a few, or the…show more content…
Due to political instability in the failing T’ang Dynasty, trade with China also began to fall causing a drop in Ivory trade. The East African settlements began to fail as well due to the drop in trade. Merchants from the Red Sea took advantage of this decline and began to create trade between the Mediterranean world and the failing East African settlements. This the official ride of the Swahili Corridor. The settlements began to grow again in wealth. This growth is shown by the architecture of houses. Buildings began to spring up, made out of lime plaster and shaped, deep-sea coral. This sudden growth can be attributed to the ties with the Red Sea Merchants who also used such building

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