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Spices timeline

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Spices timeline

BCE

Egyptians were renowned for their highly developed medicine involving many aromatic and strongly flavoured herbs and spices some of which were used to assist the process of embalming. In Europe the desire for and trade in herbs and spices marked the initial phase of systematic plant aquisition from foreign sources – a first hint of the plant globalization to come.

1721 – Cloves excavated from a kitchen in Terqa, Syria dating back to this time
1508-1458 – Pharaoh Hatshepsut returns live myrrh plants from an expedition to Punt
200 – Han Dynasty records report the use of cloves
138 – Silk Road established across Central Asia
50 – Greco-Roman trade with India

CE

77 – Pliny the Elder mentions cloves in his Naturalis Historia
618 – Tang Dynasty and Silk Road stability for 300 years
661 – Damascus the trading centre of Muslim world
671 – Arab traders arrive in Guangzhou
750 – Muslim focus turns to Baghdad
1291 – Islam established in Northern Sumatra<
1402 – Spain finally occupies the Canary Islands
1405 – First voyage of Admiral Zheng He Treasure Fleet
1402 – Portugal occupies the Madeiras
1427 – Portugal occupies the Azores around this time
1453 – Ottoman Turks overrun Constantinople, gaining control of the Spice Road
1484 – Islam reaches Ternate
1488 – Portuguese explorer Bartholomew Diaz rounds the Cape of Good Hope; Columbus suggests to Portuguese court a westward voyage to find the Spice Islands
1492 – Columbus following a western route to the East Indies arrives in the Bahamas thus discovering the Americas but believing he has landed in the East Indies
1494 – Treaty of Tordesillas divides the world between Spain and Portugal
1498 – Vasco da Gama rounds the Cape of Good Hope, follows the uncharted West African coast and crosses the Indian Ocean to anchor off Calicut: Europe’s first direct sea voyage to Asia
1510 – Alfonso de Albuquerque captures Goa for Portugal
1511 – Alfonso de Albuquerque captures Malacca for Portugal
1512 – Antonio de Abreu arrives in Banda and Francisco Serrão in Ternate
1513 – Portuguese armada from Malacca reaches Banda to trade nutmeg
1517 – Ferdinand Magellan suggests to Spanish court a westward voyage to the Spice Islands
1519 – Magellan sets sail for Moluccas
1521 – Magellan dies in Mactan, Philippines but the armada proceeds to Ternate
1522 – Juan Sebastian El Cano completes the Moluccan expedition & is the first to circumnavigate the world
1523 – Fort Gamalama constructed on Ternate
1529 – Spain signs the Treaty of Saragossa ceding the Moluccas to Portugal
1575 – Portuguese driven from Ternate
1579 – Englishman Francis Drake in the Golden Hind meets Sultan Baabullah on Ternate and in 1580 completes the second circumnavigation of the world
1596 – Dutch fleet arrives in East Indies
1600 – Second Dutch fleet makes contact with Ternatan Sultan
1601 – English East India Company formed
1602 – Dutch East India Company (VOC) formed
1605 – Portuguese take the fort on Tidore
1607 – Spanish take Fort Gamalama on Ternate
1619 – Dutch establish the town of Batavia based on Amsterdam
1667 – English with the Treaty of Breda exchange the island of Run for Manhattan
?1673 – Spanish abandon Ternate
1669 – Dutch establish a monopoly of the Spice Islands with the capture of Macassar
1754-1770 – Nutmeg plants established by Pierre Poivre in Mauritius
1795 – Cloves and nutmeg well established in the French colonies of the Caribbean

First published on the internet – 1 March 2019

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