caravan


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caravan,

group of travelers or merchants banded together and organized for mutual assistance and defense while traveling through unsettled or hostile country. Caravan trade is associated with the history of the Middle East as far back as the records of ancient civilizations extend and seems to have been well developed before sea commerce began. It is evident that all trade from one fertile area to another in this region had to be organized from the first, since long distances of desert trail separated settled parts and since local governments could not guarantee protection against tribes eager for loot and pillage. Such wares as jewels, spices, perfumes, dyes, metals, rare woods, ivory, oils, and textiles (chiefly silk) are associated with the trade. Camels were the main carriers from Egypt to Mesopotamia and throughout the Arabian peninsula. They were introduced into N Africa and the Sahara region in the 3d cent. A.D. Donkeys were used in Asia Minor. Trade naturally prospered in the period of the great empires, when the caravan routes could be controlled and protected; and it was to secure control of such routes that many wars were fought and conquests made in ancient times. An empire provided for the establishment of inns, or caravansaries, for the accommodation of travelers along the way. Such improvements facilitated the movement of troops to protect the routes. Cities rose and fell in ancient times in proportion to the rise and fall in the trade of the caravan routes upon which they were located. Basically the caravan system underwent little change until challenged in modern times by the motor truck and the airplane. Travelers having occasion to cross desert spaces usually joined merchant caravans. After the advent of Islam, the pilgrimage of the devout to Mecca gave rise to long pilgrim caravans that were a feature of the pilgrimage season each year. The closest approach to caravan trade in the New World was the wagon trainwagon train,
in U.S. history, a group of covered wagons used to convey people and supplies to the West before the coming of the railroad. The wagon replaced the pack, or horse, train in land commerce as soon as proper roads had been built.
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 commerce that developed over the Sante Fe Trail.
References in classic literature ?
The lady of the caravan then bade him come up the steps likewise, but the drum proving an inconvenient table for two, they descended again, and sat upon the grass, where she handed down to them the tea-tray, the bread and butter, the knuckle of ham, and in short everything of which she had partaken herself, except the bottle which she had already embraced an opportunity of slipping into her pocket.
While they were thus engaged, the lady of the caravan alighted on the earth, and with her hands clasped behind her, and her large bonnet trembling excessively, walked up and down in a measured tread and very stately manner, surveying the caravan from time to time with an air of calm delight, and deriving particular gratification from the red panels and the brass knocker.
'And the beer,' said the lady of the caravan, with an appearance of being more interested in this question than the last; 'is it passable, George?'
The lady of the caravan looked on approvingly for some time, and then said,
Nell was very much surprised that the man should be so accurately acquainted with the weight of one whom she had read of in books as having lived considerably before their time, but speedily forgot the subject in the joy of hearing that they were to go forward in the caravan, for which she thanked its lady with unaffected earnestness.
Police have confirmed that they were looking for a man who was acting suspiciously close to a caravan park.
Summary: Pink Caravan conducts 1,750 free check-ups in Sharjah
AHONLEY-BASED caravan and motorhome dealership celebrated double success in this year's Tent, Caravan and Motorhome Owner Satisfaction Awards.
The Hida Al Sahraa caravan completed its journey crisscrossing Al Sharqiyah Sands to promote domestic tourism.
On October 12, a migrant caravan, which is a group of people traveling to a new country, began the 2,800-mile journey (4,500 km) from Honduras to seek refuge in the United States.
SPECIAL offers and complimentary extras are set to make the Bank Holiday celebrations very special for anyone investing in a Swift motorhome or caravan at Glossop Caravans.
My wife and I are the North East representatives for the Retro Caravan Club.