- An introduction to the Indian Ocean slave trade
Resource Type: Article
The Indian Ocean slave trade encompassed Africa, Asia and the Middle East, with people from these areas involved as both captors and captives. The numbers of people enslaved and the exact length of the trans-Indian slave trade have not been definitively established, but historians believe that it preceded the transatlantic enslavement by centuries. Even though it is largely ignored as an international slave trade, examples of its impact abound. Writing on Indian Ocean slavery frequently mentions African people in China and Persia as well as in the Muslim holy cities of Mecca and Medina, which also served as central slave markets.
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