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Unit 2: How Trade and Travel Changed the World

Lesson D: The Chinese Continent

Activity 4: East Meets Southeast

Throughout the Common Era, interaction from trade and travel resulted in the sharing of culture between different groups of people from both neighboring, and increasingly distant, regions. This diffusion of culture took place within trade networks of the Silk Road and Indian Ocean, and between invading empires and conquered peoples. In order to have a clearer understanding of cultural diffusion in Asia during the Ming Dynasty, you will first review and discuss examples of diffusion prior to the Ming.

Directions: In this activity you will explore examples of cultural diffusion from the pre-modern world prior to the Ming Empire. Select the play button when you are ready to begin.


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Classroom Activity - East Meets Southeast

Discussion Icon Discussion

Directions: Prepare a response to the discussion questions below. Follow your teacher's directions to participate in your class discussion.

  • How did the spread of this aspect of culture impact existing ideas and traditions?
  • What were the positive impacts of the spread of this aspect of culture?
  • What were the negative impacts of the spread of this aspect of culture?

Download Icon Select the link to review the Discussion Scoring Tool (pdf).


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The diffusion of culture throughout the world prior to the rise of the Ming Empire previewed the changes that would take place in China under the Ming. Use these examples as you learn about the spread of impacts of Ming culture throughout Asia in the activity that follows.