Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Southern Arabia: Business and Trade

Assalamu'alaikum wa rahmatullah

Southern Arabia located in between Africa and Asia and Indian Ocean. That makes them easier to contact other regions for business and commercial activities. They did business with ancient India where they imported jewelries, gold, precious stones, elephant tusks, pepper, stoves, sandalwood and agarwood to Assyrian empire, Egypt and Phoenicia. They sent ships to India and Far East in South East Asia (Further India) and bringing the stuffs from the sea through land routes by caravans.

I guess from South East Asia, the Arabs might also brought the weapons such as sword since the archeologists from Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) had founded ancient iron-smelting sites in Sungai Batu in Bujang Valley of Kedah state which dates back to the 3rd-5th century. I had seen some of the findings in the new library of the USM when I was a postgraduate student but unfortunately I did not capture the picture, haha. 

From Eastern Africa, they imported perfumes, ostrich feathers, gold, meat and calamondin. From Socotra, they imported sandalwood and from Bahrain, pearls. Yemenite traders brought all of these stuffs to the markets in Yemen. They trade those stuffs with people from around the regions. The ancient Arabs and people from Middle East prefer land routes over the maritime routes because waves in Persian Bay was so terrible for them.

It is reasonable for Strabo to mention that Yemen could be equally compared with Egypt and Byzantine city-state in term of their development besides they rarely engage themselves in wars since violence could slow the progress for development and turning a state into the poor one. We could see this during the World Wars and it was not so much fun even when we just hear the experience of those who live at that time.

Sealed with prayers for mercy, peace and love, amin!

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