Trade Between Africa and Eurasia Changed During the Era of 300-1450

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Although key elements of the trade between Africa and Eurasia changed during the era of 300-1450, a few factors stayed the same. In 300 C.E., trade routes were primarily between Europe and North Africa. The way that they changed by the time of 1450 was that they expanded southward and westward. By 1450, these trade routes went through West Africa, sub-Saharan Africa, and the Indian Ocean. One factor that stayed the same during this time period was that the northern coast of Africa was always involved in the trade between Africa and the rest of Eurasia.

At the start of this period in 300 C.E, Afro-Eurasian trade was not very sophisticated. There was some collaboration with cultures in the Mediterranean. European goods were brought to Africa and traded for African produces, some of which include spices. The partial interaction from Europe to Africa was a result of the waning of the Roman Empire. The southern part of Europe was facing complications, giving evidence to why they were not profoundly involved in trade during this time. This factor changed throughout the time period. For example, during the 800s on onward, Europe had become more stabilized. In addition, the Islamic Empire had risen in the Middle East. With the addition of the Islamic Empire, more regions were available to trade. Because the Islamic Empire had risen, new trade routes had risen as well. Islamic traders came from the east, while merchants from Europe arrived from the north.

By this point, the Europeans had different types of technologies that let them go pass the once opaque Sahara desert. Because of this advancement, a larger concentration of trade occurred. While Europe traded with Africa, Indian traders began to arrive to West Africa, as part of the Indian Ocean Trade Network. In sub-Saharan Africa, the system of the gold-salt trade developed. In this trade, Arab and Berber traders crossed the Sahara with caravans loaded with salt. They also carried cloth, weapons, and...
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