There were many differences and similarities between the ways trade has developed in Gotland and in Great Zimbabwe. In this essay I would discuss the most important ones, that can indicate something about trade development in other places in the world. The time span in which trade has developed and came to its highest level in both places was about the same. In Great Zimbabwe it was between the 10th and the 16th centuries. In Gotland it started in the Vikings age end (9th century) and ended in the 16th century. The trade was reduced radically after these eras have passed.
The main reason for it in Great Zimbabwe was social and environmental reasons Great Zimbabwe was abandoned. Another reason is that the Portuguese began exploring southeast Africa and made colonies there, that weakened the Shona Kingdom even more. In Gotland the trade amounts were reduced because it stopped being an independent islandit was vanquished by its enemies. The conquering of a place could affect the trade and its development for the worse. The geographical locations in both places have affected the trade development.
Both places have coasts. In Gotland, which is an island, it was probably hard to create trade connections when the ships were not so developed. When the ships were more advanced, Gotland was used as a trade stationships from the Baltic area got equipped and traded with the Gutar. Great Zimbabwe is found in the mainland but it is close to the coast. Great Zimbabwes region contains many gold resources and it is a good agricultural zone. The location of an area and the resources in it could affect the trade and its development tremendously.
The markets that the merchants in each place traded with ere ones that the best way to reach them was by sailing. The people from Great Zimbabwe used the winds that are blowing in the Indian ocean and the Arab sea to navigate to the places they traded with. The places are: southern Arabia, India, China. The Gutar traded with ships that came to Gotland from the Baltic area. In the golden age of the trade in Gotland the Gutar have reached to places all over Europe and even to the Mediterranean sea countries.
Both places have traded with countries of their areas since the ships were not so well developed at that timeunlike today, they were ot good and safe enough for very long sails. In the past an access to a sea or an ocean could affect the trade and its development. The goods that were traded depended on the resources available in each place. The goods traded by the merchants from Great Zimbabwe were: ivory, gold, and iron. It was easy to get these materials theregold and iron were produced from ores, and the ivory was taken from the elephants that were common there.
The merchandise in Gotland was: sandstone, wax, furs, amber and picture stones. The people got sandstone from quarries, furs from nimals, and made wax, amber and picture stones from materials that were prevailing there. The more needed or valuable the goods were, the richer the traders became. The religion in both places was an important part of life and trade. In Gotland religion affected the trade in each one of the erasChristianity and pagan. In the pagan time picture stones were used, among other things, for religious ceremonies and they were exported from Gotland to the countries of the Baltic.
When Christianity appeared in the area, the Gutar have exported wax, which is used for andles in churches, to all of Europe. Some say that religion was the most important thing in Great Zimbabwes society and therefore it must have affected their whole life including trade. Christianity has made the trade of Great Zimbabwe weakened since it came with losing their independence. The people of Zimbabwe have lost their culture and religion and became less united as one nationthese are usually the effects that a forced change in a nations culture and religion can bring, the Portuguese have done this in other countries, too.
The Portuguese have also aken over the tradeit made the people of Zimbabwe more demoralized and less wealthythey were too weak to keep their culture and religion. Religion can have good effects and bad effects on trade. To conclude I can say that the way trade develops in different areas depends on many things and there are similarities in the general effects on the amount of trade and how good it is. The small details are not very importantlike if the goods traded are ivory or sandstonea certain pattern of effects on trade is followed, probably not only in Gotland and Great Zimbabwe, but in many other places.