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2.1: Introduction

  • Page ID
    236425
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    There are two images. The image on the left is of a round porcelain flask decorated with a picture of a dragon. The image on the right is a porcelain saucer decorated with a picture of a bird surrounded by flowers and grass.
    Figure 2.1 Chinese Porcelain. This eighteenth-century moon-shaped porcelain flask adorned with a dragon (left) and the glazed porcelain saucer (right) were both made in Jingdezhen, in southeastern China, a center of porcelain manufacturing that created many such beautiful objects for sale in China and elsewhere. (credit left: modification of work “Chinese flask” by Walters Art Museum/Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain; credit right: modification of work “Saucer with motifs celebrating prosperity, China” by Asian Art Museum of San Francisco/Wikimedia Commons, CC0 1.0)

    The sixteenth century was a time of exploration and the beginning of global ocean trade. When European nations such as Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands, England, and France were just setting out on voyages of exploration and beginning to forge maritime trade networks, a thriving oceangoing commerce was already being carried on in the Indian Ocean. From the coastal provinces of India to the Straits of Malacca and the ports of Southeast Asia, China, and Japan and back again, raw materials of great value and manufactured products of great beauty traveled (Figure 2.1). Along with them went religious beliefs, philosophies, technological developments, and other cultural influences.

    A timeline shows important events from the era covered in this chapter. In 1400 CE, the Malacca Sultanate was founded. In 1443 CE, the Hangul alphabet was created. In 1494 CE, Spain and Portugal sign the Treaty of Tordesillas. In 1498 CE, Vasco da Gama sails to India; a portrait of da Gama is shown. In 1500 CE, Sikhism was founded. In 1526 CE, the Mughal Empire was founded. In 1549 CE, the Menara Kudus mosque was built; an image of the mosque is shown. In 1582 CE, Akbar founded Din-i Ilaha; an image of Akbar is shown. In 1600 CE, the Battle of Sekigahara was fought; an image of the battle is shown. In 1653 CE, the Taj Mahal was completed; an image of the Taj Mahal is shown.
    Figure 2.2 Timeline: Exchange in East Asia and the Indian Ocean. (credit “1498 CE”: modification of work “Vasco de Gama” by E. Benjamin Andrews, Scribner's Sons/Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain; credit “1549 CE”: modification of work “Masjid Menara Kudus” by “PL09Puryono”/Wikimedia Commons, CC0 1.0; credit “1582 CE”: modification of work “Jesuits at Akbar's court” by Chester Beatty/Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain; credit “1600 CE”: modification of work “Sekigahara Kassen Byōbu-z” by The City of Gifu Museum of History/Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain; credit “1653 CE”: modification of work “Taj Mahal” by David Castor/Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain)
    This locator map shows the world. Highlighted regions include northeastern Russia, India, China, Korea, and Japan.
    Figure 2.3 Locator Map: Exchange in East Asia and the Indian Ocean. (credit: modification of work “World map blank shorelines” by Maciej Jaros/Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain)

    This page titled 2.1: Introduction is shared under a CC BY 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by OpenStax.

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