Trade routes that shaped world history

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Trade routes are routes that are used on a widely known basis to transport goods to and from different places. Some trade routes across the world are more significant than others, due to the course that they take or the goods that are transported along them; some of them are important culturally because they were used to experience things you can’t buy, like religion. Here are some of the trade routes that shaped world history.

Amber Road

The Amber Road has been used to transport goods since the year 3,000 B.C. Amber might not seem like it has any significance to us, but it has actually been incredibly useful and valuable over the years. The Romans valued amber very highly for decorative purposes, and it played a big role in the design of their homes, palaces and other buildings, which we have been able to discover today thanks to Amber’s long lasting quality. The ‘Amber Highway’ as it came to be called has also been witness to a lot of deaths, following the rise of demand for Amber in the 12th and 13th centuries, where people would kill merchants who were transporting the precious stone.

Silk Road

The Silk Road is not just one of the most famous trade routes in the world, it’s also one of the oldest, and its use dates back to as far as the first century B.C! It was used by the ancient civilizations of China and by the Roman Empire. At first, the route was used to transport a lot of practical and luxury items, ranging from anything between wool and gold, but over time, more important things were transported down this route; knowledge, trade secrets, art, and religion. Of course, one of the most famous products transported down this trade route was silk, which started during the Han Dynasty. The Chinese were so protective of their trade route that they constructed the Great Wall of China, just to keep it safe!

The Salt Route

Salt might just seem like an everyday household commodity now, but hundreds and thousands of years ago, salt was incredibly precious – so much so that in the Roman age, it actually used to make up a portion of people’s wages. It is used for food and for flavoring, to preserve things, and to heal things with its antiseptic qualities. It is so versatile and used to be so difficult to get hold of that salt routes were crucial. There were several trade routes known as ‘salt roads’ such as Via Saleria in Italy and the Old Salt Route in Germany.

Tea Horse Road

There’s no denying we all like a cup of tea every now and then (daily if you’re British), but do you know how dangerous transporting tea used to be? The Tea Horse Road is one of the most precarious of all the world famous trade routes, with over 6,000 miles of winding roads through mountains and over rivers. Of course, one of the main commodities transported along this route was Chinese tea, but it was also the route for trading Tibetan Warhorses too.

These trade routes have all changed the world around us, in one way or another. Without some of these famous (and often dangerous) trade routes, we wouldn’t have commodities such as tea or salt in our homes today. How strange would that be?

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Today in History for November 12th

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Today in History for November 10th

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Tea and history: an evocative brew in Chengdu, China

This centuries-old teahouse in Sichuan province and its regulars are a world away from China’s modern megacities

Out in the western suburbs of Sichuan’s capital, Chengdu, the town of Pengzhen is home to what’s said to be the oldest teahouse in China. About 300 years old, the Guanyin Pavilion is at the heart of a tiny community of historic streets where, against a tide of rapid modernisation, the local population proudly preserves its heritage and traditional way of life.

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Ranking the 6 Best PlayStation Characters in History

When you’re dealing with a packed roster of great characters like PlayStation’s, picking the best of the bunch is no simple task. You need to limit yourself with some harsh criteria, or else you’ll end up with a top 30 list. The six iconic characters on this list have memorable personalities and great games that have secured their immortality. When you hear the word “PlayStation,” you think of these guys.

6. Jak and Daxter (Jak and Daxter Series)


Jak and Daxter with a gun.
Jak and Daxter are packing heat.

This man and ottsel duo reinvented the platforming genre with a perfect blend of snarky humor and dark drama. The strong silent type and the obnoxious loudmouth may not be the most original pairing, but there’s a childhood bond at the core of Jak and Daxter’s contrasting personalities that sets them apart from most buddy teams.

While the Jak and Daxter franchise boasts great shooting mechanics and epic storylines, the titular pair gave it legs. These guys survived the major tonal shift from their simple, childish debut game to the more serious, GTA-like Jak II, and the decision to upgrade Jak from laid-back mute protagonist to angry loose cannon strengthened his relationship with Daxter. Naughty Dog dropped the ball by letting this series fizzle out, but if they were to put out a reboot, gamers would leap at the opportunity to see these guys back in action.

5. Ratchet and Clank (Ratchet & Clank Series)


Ratchet and Clank looking through a broken wall.
The ultimate repair team.

If Jak and Daxter made the list, it only makes sense that their Insomniac counterparts would pop up at some point. The Ratchet & Clank franchise’s innovative blend of platforming and third-person shooting may be its claim to fame, but it’s the lombax and robot’s well-drawn personalities and witty banter that sell the games.

The two are a great comedic duo thanks to the combination of Ratchet’s headstrong attitude and Clank’s polite intelligence, but it’s their complementary abilities as mechanic and machine, respectively, that makes them a natural pairing. The games have also done a great job of building their relationship. By having Ratchet and Clank meet in the first game, the series has allowed the fan base to grow with their friendship.

4. Nathan Drake (Uncharted Series)


Nathan Drake in cave in Uncharted 4
He may often be out of his element, but he belongs on this list.

The most recent addition to the gaming world to make this list is Nathan Drake — a testament to his strong personality. With the skills of Indiana Jones and the charisma of Firefly‘s Malcolm Reynolds, Nathan has carved out his place in the PlayStation pantheon.

This charming smart-ass may be an incredible treasure hunter who can climb like it’s nobody’s business, but it’s his everyman spirit that makes him so relatable. He feels out of his depth in the dangerous situations he gets into throughout the Uncharted series. Nathan may be famous for his quippy lines and devil-may-care attitude, but it’s his genuine feelings for love interest Elena Fisher and partner in crime Victor “Sully” Sullivan that show off his best side.

3. Crash Bandicoot (Crash Bandicoot Series)


Crash Bandicoot and Aku Aku
The face of PlayStation.

For the longest time, Crash Bandicoot was as popular as Mario and Sonic. In other words, he was the PlayStation mascot. Kids and adults have been crazy about this furry dope since his debut in the first Crash Bandicoot, and despite the declining quality of the later games, his fanbase is just as vocal and energetic as ever.

Even though he barely speaks, Crash’s personality is iconic in the gaming world. He’s more than just a silly face; his goofy demeanor and slapstick fighting moves are inseparable from his image. While it was nice to see him spin back into the limelight with the recent N. Sane Trilogy remake, Crash deserves a brand new game that will make young gamers fall in love with him in the same way everyone else did back in the ’90s.

2. Kratos (God of War Series)


Kratos staring angrily.
Kratos finally grew the grief beard.

By far the most hardcore character in this lineup, Kratos is the embodiment of pure, unadulterated rage. In a series of games about slaughtering the entire pantheon of the Greek gods, the only qualified protagonist for God of War is a violent, unlikable antihero. But despite having an excess of innocent blood on his hands, the vengeful Spartan is one of the most famous faces of PlayStation.

Kratos may be the furthest thing from a good role model, but it’s his relentless thirst for vengeance that allows players to relate to him. Whether it’s Ares manipulating him into killing his own family, or betrayal at the hands of his father Zeus, the demigod always has a motive to plow through any bodies that get in the way of his bloodlust.

1. Snake (Metal Gear Solid Series)


Snake smoking a cigar.
We got a badass here.

Kept you waiting, huh? This pick may spark debate in the gaming community, but you can make a strong case for Snake being the ultimate PlayStation mascot. He’s been around longer than anyone on this list, and the Metal Gear series has maintained a consistent level of quality since his introduction in the ’80s.

Snake may possess the badass skills, gruff voice, and quotable lines of an action movie hero, but it’s his humanity that makes him such a classic character. He’s never found glory in violence, and his willingness to sacrifice himself for his comrades and the greater good speaks volumes about his selfless nature. Whether it’s the original Naked Snake from the Cold War era or his clone Solid Snake, who started it all in the first Metal Gear, the man leaves a lasting impression that eclipses most video game protagonists.

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We Heart: The #VoteYourMainStreet Campaign to Preserve Feminist History in Seneca Falls

The first American women’s rights convention took place in Seneca Falls. Some of the earliest feminists—among them Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott and Frederick Douglass—were in attendance. The two-day convention, which produced the historic Declaration of Sentiments and led to a series of women’s rights conventions throughout the United States, took place in the Seneca Knitting Mill.

170 years later, the National Women’s Hall of Fame wants to set up shop in that knitting mill to best honor the achievements of the activists who bravely sparked the modern women’s rights movement—but they need your help. The organization is calling on feminists nationwide to help them secure a grant through the #VoteYourMainStreet campaign and make the move possible.

Paola Franqui, @monaris_

Partners in Preservation, the National Trust for Historic Preservation and American Express launched the national grassroots campaign, which is offering grants to significant sites in order to preserve American history. Partners in Preservation has raised over $ 22 million for over 200 sites since its creation in 2006; the National Trust for Historic Preservation has over 60 years of experience in advocating for the preservation of historical sites. Now, these groups want to help local communities educate others about their rich and diverse history.

The Seneca Knitting Mill is one of only two out of 20 competing sites in the campaign related strictly to women’s history, and it’s the oldest and most foundational of the batch related to feminism in the U.S. Should the site win the competition, the $ 150,000 grant would allow the National Women’s Hall of Fame to move to this significant location.

Today is the last day feminists can vote in the campaign, but the old political punchline “vote early and vote often” still applies! You can vote five times today—and all at once, in the click of a button.

Victoria Sheber is an editorial intern at Ms., a debate instructor at Windward School and a member of the JusticeCorps at the Los Angeles Superior Court. Victoria is currently a senior at UCLA studying American Literature & Culture and History; she is also the President of the American Association of University Women chapter on campus and Assistant Section Editor for Fem Newsmagazine. She loves to read and write about feminist literature. 

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How the 2018 Latin American Music Awards Made History With More Girl Power Than Ever

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The Weekend Reset: A little history, a bit of a fright and a reason to hoard.

It’s Friday. Looking for something to switch up your weekend, or to give you an excuse to relax a little? That’s what the Weekend Reset is for. Each week contributor Tim Johnstone pulls together five things to get your weekend started. Could be something to read or watch, something to eat or listen to, or even something to do. Enjoy the weekend fellas.

 

BINGE: Guaranteed to make you feel better about your childhood.

Family dysfunction like you’ve never seen. NETFLIX’s “The Haunting Of Hill House” is a slow-burn take on Shirley Jackson’s classic gothic novel which stretches over the course of 10 episodes. There are legitimate chills and some good frights as well. But the way the story flows it what holds it all together. The complete story is unwound bit by bit as the narrative goes from what happened then to what’s happening now in a way that keeps you engaged and guessing.

 

EAT: Another hearty one pan meal for a blustery fall evening.

One Skillet Braised Chicken Thighs with Spinach and White Beans from Domesticate-Me.com

One Skillet Braised Chicken Thighs with Spinach and White Beans. Bust out your cast iron pan and set to work on a delicious and easy fall meal. Most of the ingredients are pantry-favorites. Yes, there is sooooo much to scroll past to get to the recipe but it’s worth it.

 

SHUDDER: Enjoy your brewski while you still can, gentlemen. 

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Looks like your favorite brew might end up in short supply in the (?-too-distant) future. Plan accordingly. This might require some changes to your home environment. Perhaps that second fridge finally makes sense? Or maybe a climate controlled storage facility? Because you are going to need someplace to stock up before it all goes south. Priorities.

 

TOUR: Appreciate the architecture of the NYC Public Library…

…without getting up from your chair. For those of us who never get anywhere near the Big Apple, this is a pretty swell opportunity to discover some features of the library many visitors never notice.

 

LEARN: The story of Ctrl + Alt + Del. 

Yes, this will be one of those oh, so that’s why moments. Now you know (comet rainbow sploosh).

Tim Johnstone is Dappered’s music correspondent as well as our resident gatherer of all things interwebs related. He’s currently undergoing a Tim Improvement Project™ (Version 4.0). It’s not pretty.


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The Wild History of Poison Rings

Photo Illustration by Sarah Rogers/The Daily Beast

Life is tough; there are tremendous amounts of dastardly and deadly substances out there, with all sorts of malicious properties. The only logical protection against them, of course, is magical jewelry.

While this might sound crazy to 21st-century minds, jewelry was used as the first line of defense against many forms of devilishness for centuries. For instance, a gold or silver rattle with a piece of coral on one end served two purposes: the coral was porous and a relatively soft material, perfect for teething infants, but coral has also long been used to ward off evil spirits and as a protective charm. If the coral helped a screaming child through the pain of sprouting a tooth, then perhaps the magic charm was real enough, after all.

Medicine, magic, and religion all were once intermingled in the ancient psyche, and the most superstitious answer often won out. The mystical solution for any given problem, like a pregnant woman’s baby being swapped out for a changeling, could easily be attributed to the magical powers of a stone or a protective charm.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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Today in History for October 14th

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Little Known Black History Facts: Raye Montague

The hit film Hidden Figures, starring Taraji P. Henson, highlighted three African-American women who were instrumental in propelling the U.S. space program forward. Arkansas native Raye Montague, who is the first person to design a U.S. Navy ship using a computer and a “hidden figure” herself, passed this week at the age of 83.

Montague was born January 21, 1935 in Little Rock, Ark. As a girl, her grandfather took her to an exhibit in South Carolina featuring a captured German submarine. After peering at the controls for the vessel, the seven-year-old Montague asked the tour guide how the machines worked. He responded that it was a job for engineers and that she didn’t need to worry about it.

The response fueled Montague from that moment on, event though racial and gender barriers in the ’40’s and 50’s were daunting. Determined to earn an engineering degree, Montague attended what is now known as the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, graduating in 1956. Heading to D.C., the stellar student caught the attention of the Navy and began working for the military branch as a clerk typist.

Her studious nature led her to learn how computers worked, advancing her past male colleagues from larger universities. In an interview, Montague revealed that she also taught herself to drive while working for the Navy. While her colleagues thought her working late hours was a show of dedication to the job, the truth was she was learning how to drive on the go and didn’t want to do so in rush hour traffic.

For 14 years, Montague rose in the ranks and became a computer systems analyst at the Naval Ship Engineering Center. In 1970, though racist bosses in the Navy sneered at her accomplishments, they came to rely on her in a time of need. While at the department, an admiral brought a request from President Richard Nixon who wanted to get the jump on a ship design.

While the admiral said the Navy was given two months to complete the design, he charged her with getting the job done in one month. Montague finished the design in just over 18 hours and 26 minutes, as she said in a 2017 interview.

Montague, who was married three times, retaining her second husband’s surname as he was the father of their son David, won the Navy’s Meritorious Civilian Service Award in 1972.

Six years later, she earned the Manufacturing Engineers Achievement Award. Montague retired in 1990 and entered the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame in 2013. Earlier this year, Montague was enshrined in the Arkansas Women’s Hall of Fame.

 


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Today in History for October 6th

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Little Known Black History Fact: C. Delores Tucker

While history might remember C. Delores Tucker as a fiery champion who shouted down the violent and sexist rap lyrics of the ’90’s, the facts reveal she was much more than that. The Philadelphia native is also the first Black woman named secretary of state in Pennsylvania and a notable civil rights activist.

Born Cynthia Delores Nottage, she attended college at Temple University and the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business ahead of her political career. In the ’60’s, Tucker, who married her husband William in 1951, was deeply entrenched in the civil rights movement and marched alongside Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1965. She also worked closely with the NAACP.

In 1971, Gov. Milton Shapp was appointed as state secretary, and formed the first Commission on the Status of Women. Tucker was fired in 1977 for allegedly giving speeches written by state employees and winning honors for them.

In 1990, Tucker and 15 other Black men and women formed the African-American Women For Reproductive Freedom organization. Throughout the ’90’s, Tucker challenged the lyrics of The 2 Live Crew, N.WA., the late 2Pac and others for their bawdy lyrics. Her stance made her the targets of harsh criticism from the rap industry and from free speech advocates.

C. Delores Tucker passed in 2005.

 


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