Age of Exploration

Also referred to as the “Age of Discovery,” the Age of Exploration was a period of European global travel that led to the expansion of many of the European colonial empires, and laid the framework for the modern map of the world that we know today. Due to advancements in maritime technology, ships could now travel greater distances to allow explorers to go beyond the shorelines of continental Europe and Africa, and across the Atlantic Ocean towards the great unknown.

It started in the early 15th century and went until the 18th century, and established much contact between the Old and New Worlds, causing a new global flow of many plants, animals, humans (often, unfortunately, in the form of slavery), and diseases. It was also the first time many of the cultures from different continents had ever interacted, and the spread of customs, food, and materials across borders was one of the most significant cultural events in history.

Text by Kat Lonsdorf.