September 21 – 23, 2010
If you traced the twists and turns of world history on a map, you might as well have traced the routes of the spice trade. For 5,000 years, spice has been imported the world over from an archipelago in the East. In its wake, countries and cities have developed and declined, Machiavellian economics and colonization have ebbed and flowed, new lands have been discovered and traded, indigenous peoples have either ended up as converts to foreign religions or casualties of wars and genocides. Truly, this earthy assortment of roots, leaves, rhizomes, seeds, and bark, collectively known as spices, has shaped the geopolitical world as we know it. To paraphrase a song, it was a spice world after all.