Civilizations in Contact

Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies

Welcome to Civilizations in Contact

Civilizations in Contact is a registered charity (1148995) that works to foster better understanding of world history by demonstrating how different cultures have interconnected through travel, trade and other peaceful endeavours throughout history. Learn more.

Civilizations in Contact began as an interdisciplinary project - archived on this website - involving history, archaeology, geography, economics, language and literature. It was devoted to researching and mapping trade and wider cultural exchanges across political and cultural boundaries during the pre-modern (primarily before 1800 CE). During this period, exchanges took place via networks of overland and sea routes, which linked communities as trading partners, often through major embedded or independent emporia. These exchanges were not purely mercantile: they also saw the transfer of plants, animals, people (and diseases), as well as ideas, religious beliefs and technological innovations. The routes and networks shifted over time in response to political, economic, technological and ecological changes.

These processes of exchange and communication underlie the development of the world that we know today, so their understanding plays a vital part in making sense of and coping with the modern world.

An article about Civilizations in Contact was published in Research Horizons magazine (Issue 7, September 2008).