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Crop Diffusion in the Islamic Empire

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Norita Afridiana

on 19 April 2015

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Transcript of Crop Diffusion in the Islamic Empire

Crop Difussion in the Early Islamic World
Presented by:
Jessica Lucinda Amprako
Elisa Mendoza
Norita Afridiana

Founded by Muhammad in Mecca

Spreads to other parts by Caliphates:
-Middle East
-North Africa

- Armenia, Spain, France

Mediterranean sea and its trade routes

Arabic- Dhurra
Origin: India - a better variety

Islamic diffusion:
-Middle east, North Africa & Europe

-10 century - Kirman, Persia, Iraq and Arabian peninsula (Principal food)

-11th & 12th century - Spain &France respectively

-Africa - East coast of Africa, Ethopia & Southern fringes of the Sahara

-18th century - Syria and Palestine

Islamic Diffusion:Sorghum
Rulers or Monarchs
; through expeditions, gifts or tributes, for ornamental, scientific, commerce or competition reasons.
The Agents
Muslim Conquests
A Medium for Diffusion
Table of Contents
1 Introduction
2 Chronology of diffusion
3 The agents
4 A medium for diffusion
6 Supply and demand for crops
8 Agricultural revolution?
9 The contribution to Europe
10 Criticism
11 Conclusions

Introduction (cont'd)
- Unification
- Forged links of communication for travel and movement
- Variety of lands and climates
- Movement of goods, technology, information, people, culture, ideas
- Pilgrimages and missionary activity (religion)
- Scholars (scientists)
- Refugees
- Muslim/jewish merchants going to India, China, East Africa
A Medium for Diffusion
Culture and Attitudes
Cultural desert-Intellectual/material deficiencies
Collecting Activity
- Books, animal, plants, jewels, porcelain.
- Huge libraries and book collections
Flow across the Empire
West Africa
The Pull of Demand
Medicines and exotic cures
Textile and dye
First imported from India to East Africa and Egypt, then replaced by demand
Demand = Migration
Rulers and their courts: imitated by others, feasts and banquets
Facilitating Supply
- Large scale crops
- Tropical/semi-tropical crops in Middle East and Mediterranean
- Repair/Construction
Land Tenure
- Categories of agricultural land
- Property rights
- No constrains
- Division of large properties
- Low taxes or free-tax crops
- Water/irrigation rights
- Labour

- Focal points in the process of plant diffusion
- Rare and exotic plants
- Scientists in charge (botanist, agronomes)
Landowners and wealthy people

Peasants (migration)
The early agricultural achievement- Islam

-Arab conquerors
-Conquered peasants & land owners
-Migrants from Arabian Peninsula
-Neighbours of the Islamic world

After 7th century conquest of Middle East and Northern Africa - introduction of 17 new food crops and 1 fibre crop

-The world’s 5th Most important cereal crop
-Rapidly spreading today
-Higher yields
-Resistant to drought & poor soils

-Cous-cous, porridge,soups &cakes, syrups, fuel, fodder


-Africa(2nd Mill B.C)--- India(1400-1200)--- S.E Asia & Mesopotamia(1st Mill B.C)

Arabic- Ruzz, Aruzz, Urazz

Dessert oases,river valleys and swamps

-Desserts, flour, wine ,vinegar, etc


2nd century
-Lower Syria/Jordan Valley, Mesopotamia
-Persia,Classical Mediterranean
-Pre- Islamic Arabia
-East Africa

Islamic Diffusion: Asiatic rice
East-Jordan and Palestine

Yemen, Egypt, South Morocco, Sicily

10th Century- Spain

12th Century-Part of Abyssinia

13th Century- East Africa

14th Century- Mogadishu

Hard Wheat
Arabic - qamh, hinta, burr

- soups, gruels,bread,cous-cous, etc

- Abyssinia & Eastern Meditarranean basin

Islamic Diffusion
Middle East(Arabs) -- Mediterranean-- Christian West
-13th Century:- Spain, Tunisia, Egypt
-14th Century:- Italy
Sugar cane
Arabic:qasab al-sukkar

-drink,sugar,syrup, fodder etc

- SouthEast Asia

Islamic Diffusion:
(10th Century)
- North Africa,Spain

Arabic: - qutn, utub

Uses: -Linen, thread, pillows,oil,medical uses

Origins:-India, Pakistan

Islamic Diffusion:
-Eastern part of central Asia(6th-9th Century)
-Middle East- Iran, Iraq, Persia,
-Africa-Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia
-Meditarranean Europe and Black Africa
“Islamic Agricultural Revolution” ?

Citrus Fruits
Sour orange, Lemon, Shaddock &Lime
Arabic: naraj, limun,lim

Principal ornamental plantsin gardens of great and modest in Early Islamic world

Uses: juice for drinks, season meat, perfumes,soap

Origin: India,China & Malaysia

Islamic Diffusion:
-India--Syria--Palestine--Egypt (912)
-Spain,Mesopotamia (later)
-Islamic world(10-12 Century)
-Africa (14-16 Century)
Mango tree
Arabic: anbaj

-Ripe(eaten raw)Unripe (chutney)


Islamic Diffusion:
-Iraq,Asia,Africa(9-10th Century)
Fundamental transformation in agriculture from 8th – 13th--> “Islam Golden Age”
Islamic Agricultural Revolution
Arab Agricultural Revolution

Later known as:
Medieval Green Revolution
Muslim Agricultural Revolution
Islamic Green Revolution

Arab Agricultural Revolution
” coined by historian Andrew Watson
extension of earlier hypothesis in Islamic Spain in 1876
by Spanish Historian Antonia Garcia Maceira

Contribution in Agriculture
Maximum output --> identifying suitable soils and mastering techniques for plants and trees

Advanced techniques by “new agriculture”
- Crop rotation system
- Artificial Irrigation
- Intensive crop
- Fertilizers
- Social responsibility – share compensation

Effects of Islamic Green Revolution
Artificial Irrigation
- produce two or three times crops every years
e.g: Winter crop --> Wheat
Summer crop --> Sorghum
- greatly reduced climatic fluctuation

Crop rotation system & multiple cropping
- Higher yields
- Higher quality
- Maintain the productivity of the soil
- More intensive crop
Islamic Weather Calender System
Effects of Islamic Green Revolution (2)
Economic – social aspects
higher and more stable agricultural earning
more land was farmed
more intensively cropped
wider variety of crops
more stable income
created more labor (to constract, operate, and repair irrigation system; plant; harvest,)
Ibn Al Baytar (1197-1248 CE)
The foremost scientists of the Middle Ages

Book & Encyclopedia:
1. Kitāb al-Mughni fī al-Adwiyah al-Mufradah, or
(The Ultimate in Materia Medica)
2. Kitāb al-Jāmi‘ li-Mufrdat al-Adwiyah wa-al-Aghdhiyah, or (Complete Book of Simple Medicaments and Nutritious Items)

Wrote 1400 kinds of plants, food, and medicine; 300 of them were discovered by himself

The elements of the success on Islamic Revolution
Irrigation development

Improved farming techniques

Two principle of incentives of the recognition of private ownership and the rewarding of cultivator

Advanced scientific techniques – allowed to challenging growing techniques

(…) among the eighteen crops listed by Watson, several were previously known in the Roman or Sassanid Persian Empires”
“The contribution of the Medieval Islamic Agriculture are certainly impressive. But a growing body of evidence for pre Islamic Empire challenges the basic assumption (..)”

Some respond:
The transformation of agriculture in Islamic Spain (Al Andalus), Egypt, and some inhospitable area
Historian Fairchild Ruggles --> Real contribution were “new social and economic system”

Decker (2009); Rapoport & Shahar (2012);

Decker, M. (2009). Plants and progress: rethinking the Islamic agricultural revolution. Journal of World History. Vol.20, No. 2.

Watson, A. M. (1983). Agricultural innovation in the early Islamic world: the diffusion of crops and farming techniques, 700-1100. London: Cambridge University Press.

Idrisi, Z. (2005). The muslim agricultural revolution and its influence on Europe. Manchester, UK: Foundation for Science Technology and Civilisation.

Rapoport, Y., Shahar, I. (2012), Irrigation in the Medieval Islamic Fayyum: Local Control in a Large-Scale Hydraulic System. Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient, Vol. 55, No.1.
Religion --> big influence to crop diffusion
Islam brought the proper context, agents and factors necessary for the development of crops.
Big contribution was done by several important element
Further research still needed
Thank you for your attention
Full transcript