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Middle East

Image of the Mahabodhi Temple: a stepped pyramid with round dome-shaped structure (stupa) on top
Methods

Analyzing Travel Records

In a way, all historical thinking and all historical writing deal with travel accounts.

Map of Asia showing the lands Marco Polo traveled to.
Source

Marco Polo’s Travels

Macro Polo lived from 1254 to 1324. He spent twenty-four years journeying through the Asian continent and left behind an impressive amount of documentation including travelogues of his adventures.

A blue, circular icon with an image of a document in the center. Underneath are the words "view document"
Source

Mandate for Palestine

The Mandate for Palestine was a legal document that established the United Kingdom as a Mandatory in charge of Palestine and Tran

First page of a letter from President Andrew Jackson to the Senate in 1834 on the expansion of US trade.
Teaching

Short Teaching Unit: The Omani Empire and the Center of the Emerging Global Economy, 1500-1850

This essay pushes back against European-dominated narratives of world history to suggest that the Omani Empire was a crucial space for the emergence of our present-day system of global capitalism.

Ad for auction of ship's cargo. Description at link.
Teaching

Short Teaching Module: Nineteenth-Century American Trade on Zanzibar

Although American merchants often fade from historical narratives after the eighteenth century, they remained influential actors in the United States and abroad.

List of items in several columns. Explanation in annotation.
Source

Outward Cargo Manifest of the Rowena, 1841

Cargo manifests and other shipping records offer a tangible glimpse into expansive commercial networks, reminding observers of the physical goods underwriting long distance trade.

Ad for auction of ship's cargo. Description at link.
Source

Advertisement for the Auction of the Ann’s Cargo, 1827

This flyer advertises the Ann’s 1827 arrival in Salem, Massachusetts, after making one of the first American trips to Zanzibar.

Inset of Prester John from larger world map. Shows a man sitting in front of a tent.
Teaching

Short Teaching Module: Examining Early Genoese Voyages through Maps

The medieval Genoese ranged from China to the Atlantic, and their experience in navigation, the sugar industry, and the slave trade were the elemental foundation of Iberian colonial expansion.

Map with network lines radiating from fixed points
Source

Nautical Chart, 1385

This nautical chart is signed by Majorcan cartographer Guglielmo Soler and dated to 1385, and ranges from the Black Sea to the Atlantic. Less beautiful than the Catalan map, it was also more practical for navigators to use.

Inset of Prester John from larger world map. Shows a man sitting in front of a tent.
Source

Catalan Map of the World, c.1450

Dated to the mid-fifteenth century, this Catalan world map is over a meter in diameter on a sheet of vellum (high-quality parchment made of calfskin). Unlike many other surviving charts, this was not meant for practical navigation, though it was based on such nautical charts.