Age of Discovery
From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
The Age of Discovery or Age of Exploration was a period from the early 15th century and continuing into the early 17th century, during which European ships traveled around the world in search of new trading routes and partners to feed burgeoning capitalism in Europe. They also were in search of trading goods such as gold, silver and spices. In the process, Europeans encountered peoples and mapped lands previously unknown to them. Among the most famous explorers of the period were Christopher Columbus, Vasco da Gama, Ferdinand Magellan and Captain James Cook.
The Age of Exploration was rooted in new technologies and ideas growing out of the Renaissance. These included advances in cartography, navigation, firepower and shipbuilding. Many people wanted to find a route to Asia through the west of Europe. The most important development was the invention of first the carrack and then caravel in Iberia. These vessels evolved from medieval European designs with a fruitful combination of Mediterranean and North Sea designs and the addition of some Arabic elements. They were the first ships that could leave the relatively placid and calm Mediterranean and sail safely on the open Atlantic.
- Terra incognita
- Major explorations after the Age of Discovery
- Maritime history
- Age of Sail
- Russian conquest of Siberia
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