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Created with Fabric.js 1.4.5 TORTOISE AND THE WARES Will AndrewsRogers P6 Despite its relatively low practical value, tortoiseshell was one of the hottest commodities traded on the Indian Ocean Trade Routes. Tortoiseshell trade stemmed from the Western and Southern sides of India, and they were then shipped to the Mediterranean basin via Indian Ocean Trade Routes with the aid of eastward blowing monsoon winds. When the winds blew westward, back towards India, tortoise shells were taken north to Europe via Silk Road land routes. Trade and Travel Tuticorin Port Bubonic Plague The Bubonic Plague, which traveled along sea trade routes from India, decimated the Mongolian Empire and killed nearly 1/3 of Europeans. At the time, the Mongolian Empire was the single strongest Empire in the world and in all of history, but it could never recover from the economic and social impact of the plague. Tortoiseshell originated in what is the present day Middle East as an Islamic tradition. With the spread of tortoiseshell came the spread of Islamic ideals as Muslim crafters traveled towards Europe with the shells, where the business was booming, Spread of Islamic Ideals Once in Europe, tortoiseshell was used for numerous products, which contributed to its productivity. During its height in 7 C.E., tortoiseshell was one of the most traded commodities in the world. Popularity and Uses Originally, tortoises were used solely for food, but, when they did not break or scratch when being clawed out for meat, their strength was discovered Discovery $ Tortoiseshell was one of the highest valued goods sold in Europe because tortoises were not native to Europe, and they came to be viewed as status symbols and signifiers of great wealth Price and Desirability Merchant Class Tortoiseshell also gave rise to a new high class of European citizens: Merchants. Though they were often considered low class in Inca and Tokugawa societies, their contributions to trade allowed them to amass great wealth and respect. Current Business Tortoiseshell is still a lucrative business in China, with illegal imports and exports racking up an estimated $100 billion alone. After tortoiseshell's initial widespread popularity in 7 C.E., it dipped as tortoises were introduced to European environments. However, as tortoise trade has become illegal again amidst declining special numbers, the trade has once again become booming
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