-Instead of endlessly clicking through Wikipedia articles and links whilst missing some information and forgetting others, this map can be seen as a collection of Wikipedia articles over cities, routes, and mountain pass. However, more than Wikipedia is a source for this map.
– Trade routes and topography explains world history in the most concise way. By simply studying the map one can understand why some areas were especially important – and remained successful even up until modern times.
– The locations and cities depicted are strictly relevant to trade, communication, and strategic locations. They do not reflect a cultural or demographic significance.
-Trade and travel occurred on both small and big scale, both between villages and between continents. This map only makes an attempt at depicting the major trade routes of the time.
– The map depicts a time-span of 200 years between 11th and 12th century, just before the Mongol empire and creation of the Hansa. During this period, cities shown on the map fall and rise. Hedeby and Birka are some examples of cities that were likely abandoned during this time, while Timbuktu and Oslo are examples of cities on the rise.
– The names of cities are mostly historical, but some have modern names, such as Beijing (Zhoujun) and Ningbo (Mingzhou). The purpose of this is to make them more searchable for further reading.
– Locations marked as “Tradepost” are unknown by name but likely participated in the trade networks of the day.
– Some mountain passes lack names or have names that are unknown. In these instances, the liberty to name the passes after the closest city was taken.
– Many Tibetan mountain passes are named “… La Pass”. ‘La’ means ‘pass’ in Tibetan, but for the sake of map readability whilst maintaining searchability I choose to add the English Pass, which essentially creates locations that translate into i.e. “Mana Pass Pass”. The same is true for some Chinese passes that end with “-guan”, which translates to pass or gate.