This map of the ancient trade routes shows the position of the fabled Spice-Islands (Moluccas) between Borneo and New Guinea. Only there can cloves, nutmeg and mace be found. Other prized spices were: pepper, ginger and cinnamon.
The economically important Silk Road (red) and spice trade routes (blue) blocked by the Ottoman Empire ca. 1453 with the fall of the Byzantine Empire, spurring exploration motivated initially by the finding of a sea route around Africa and triggering the Age of Discovery.
Zanzibar is known as "spice island." Delve into the tastes and textures of the island's markets that draw in flavors from African, Arab, Indian and European cuisine. Cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon and pepper are the lifeblood of Zanzibar's spice trade, an industry dating back to the 16th century and to which the island is indebted for its cosmopolitan feel.
Phoenician trading Routes. "the great merchants" were the main traders of Mediterranean silver mines in Spain, Tartessos, Rio Tinto. Traded with Celts. Tin from Cornwall. traded raw materials (cedar, pine, metals), food (wine, spices, fish), and luxury goods (carved ivory, glass, and purple textiles) linked the middle east and asia to europe and northern Africa skilled Phoenician artisans were imported throughout the Mediteranean to aid with design and building
Calicut, India as rendered in 1572. Europe used brutal tactics in India and Southeast Asia in efforts to get in on the spice trade. Image is from Georg Braun and Franz Hogenber's atlas Civitates orbis terrarum.