to Glory: Trading Empires
OCEAN AND RED SEA
of the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, and therefore the Mediterranean
trade, soon brought the Arab traders into conflict with Axum,
whose wealth was based on this commerce. Many of Axum’s trading
routes in the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean were lost through
the Islamic expansion, and at last it was forced to turn inwards
and look for new markets within Africa.
It found these in the northern Ethiopian highlands. Slowly
the Axumites began to move the centre of their empire away
from Axum, and by the seventh century AD, Aksum was abandoned.
traders linked the kingdom of Great Zimbabwe with the east.
Fragments of glass and crockery from China have been found
in the ruins of this kingdom which is many hundreds of kilometres
from the coast and thousands of kilometres from China.