Ancient Origins Tour IRAQ

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spice trade

Vanilla beans. Source: ankreative / Adobe Stock.

The Plight of Madagascar's Vanilla Farmers: A Battle Against Theft and Poverty (Video)

Vanilla, the second most expensive spice in the world, is worth its weight in gold . Its unique flavor and fragrance are highly sought after by chefs and food enthusiasts around the globe. However,...
Composite image cloves layered over map representing the Magellan-Elcano expedition in the Nao Victoria. Source: Benjamin LEFEBVRE / Adobe Stock & Public domain

The First Circumnavigation of the World Happened by Accident, Not Design

In 2022 Spain went all out to celebrate the quincentennial of the arrival of the so-called ‘Spice Route Armada’ which reached Spain on September 6th, 1522, after completing the first recorded...
The village and citadel at Thula have their roots in the Himyarite kingdom.		Source: fotoember/ Adobe Stock

The Himyarite Kingdom’s Bloody Conversion to Judaism: Passion or Ploy?

The Himyarite Kingdom was established in 110 BC and lasted until 570 AC. It is most often remembered these days as the “Jewish Kingdom”, thanks to the fact that for some time its predominant religion...
Ground nutmeg, used through history as powerful drug. Source: oksix / Adobe Stock

Nutmeg Poisoning: A Deadly Addition to the Kitchen Cabinet?

A low-cost, high-risk drug hiding in plain sight – in your kitchen cabinet! This is a highly aromatic spice that can change the trajectory of your food, and is sometimes used as a healing agent in...
Much of the Radhanites' overland trade between Tangier and Mesopotamia was by camel. Source: Gaper / Adobe Stock

The Radhanites: A Glimpse into the Trade Networks of the Middle Ages

It is no secret that throughout the classical and early medieval period, trade played an immense role in the economy of the world. Trade routes were spread all over Eurasia, and effectively connected...