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The ancient world saw the expansion of Western Asian, Mediterranean and Polynesian civilizations as transport networks for trade were established. Later, imperial expansion reached far flung corners of the world. The Great Trade Routes examines the principal trade networks throughout history, encompassing coastal and trans-oceanic maritime trade, inland waterway traffic, and overland trade. Filled with fascinating historical detail, exotic locales, and a wealth of illustrations, the book analyzes the importance of trade to commercial and cultural exchange, focusing on great routes such as the Silk Road, the Grand Trunk, Via Maris, Hanseatic and Mediterranean sea-routes, tea and grain races and passages to the New World.