This page has been created by: María Calvo, Victor Pérez de Arenaza, Andrea Romero and Noelia Sánchez.


Maps: Víctor Pérez de Arenaza
Gloster: Maria Calvo
Editing the page: Víctor Pérez de Arenaza
Presentations: Noelia Sánchez

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1. Things that were brought to Europe from America:

1.1 Food :

After Columbus reached America, various cultures, like African, European and Asian, began to use and consume a large amount of products developed by the American civilizations, such as corn, cotton, peanuts, chili pepper, pineapple, sweet potatoes, tobacco, vanilla, tomato, potato, cocoa...

Explorers returned to Europe with them, mainly cacao, corn, potatoes and tomatoes, which became very important crops in Eurasia by the 18th century. Similarly, Europeans introduced manioc and the peanut to tropical Southeast Asia and West Africa, where they flourished and supported growth in populations on soils that otherwise would not produce large yields.


Corn is a grain domesticated by indigenous peoples in Mesoamerica in prehistoric times. The Aztecs and Mayas cultivated it in numerous varieties throughout central and southern Mexico, to cook in a process called nixtamalization. Later the crop spreaded through the rest of the Americas. Between 1250 and 1700,the whole continent was cultivating the crop. After European contact with the Americas in the late 15th and early 16th centuries, explorers and traders carried maize back to Europe and introduced it to other countries through trade. Maize spread to the rest of the world due to its popularity and ability to grow in diverse climates.



The tomato is a tasty, typically red fruit, as well as the plant which bears it. Originating in South America,
the tomato was spread around the world following the Spanish colonization of the Americas, and its many
varieties are now widely grown, often in greenhouses in cooler climates.

The tomato fruit is consumed in diverse ways, including raw, as an ingredient in many dishes and sauces,
and in drinks. While it is botanically a fruit, it is considered a vegetable for culinary purposes which has caused
some confusion. The fruit is rich in lycopene, which may have beneficial health effects.


The potato is a starchy, tuberous crop from the perennial Solanum tuberosum of the Solanaceae family .The word potato may refer to the plant itself . In the region of the Andes, there are some other closely related cultivated potato species. Potatoes were first introduced outside the Andes region four centuries ago, and have become an integral part of much of the world's cuisine.

Primitive cultivated varieties of potato are widely distributed across the Andes, from the West of Venezuela to the South, to the North-West of Argentina and the archipelago of Chiloé and the Chonos in the South of Chile.


Cultivation, use, and cultural elaboration of cacao were early and extensive in Mesoamerica. Ceramic
vessel with residues from the preparation of cacao beverages have been found at archaeological sites
dating back to the Early ages(1900-900 BC) period. For example, one such vessel found at an Olmec
archaeological site on the Gulf Coast of Mexico dates cacao's preparation by pre-Olmec peoples as
early as 1750 BC.

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external image images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQzfAKhCegQ97nwdU287e6eJXiQZ0m2wEHs_TsDHsnCRHOnIJ_X


Spreading of the food in Europe

The cacao, potato, corn and tomato were the most important plants that the Castillians brought from the New World. They were transport to different places:

Cacao : After the conquest of Mexico, cocoa as a good, travelled by boat from the port of Nueva España to the Spanish coast, and there it spreaded throughout the rest of Europe.
Potato: Historians think that potatoes were carried ashore and planted. Basque fishermen from Spain used potatoes as ships stores for their voyages across the Atlantic in the 16th century, and introduced the potato to western Ireland, where they landed to dry their cod.
Tomato:Many historians believe that the Spanish explorer Cortes may have been the first to transport the small yellow tomato to Europe.
Corn: After European contact with the Americas in the late 15th and early 16th centuries, explorers and traders carried corn back to Europe and introduced it to other countries through trade. Corn spread to the rest of the world due to its popularity and ability to grow in diverse climates.

1.2. Spices :

The spices were native to the tropical regions of Asia, and the Moluccas in Indonesia, also known as the Spice Islands. The spices used today are more or less the same as those used in antiquity. Spices can be classified into two main groups, those that change both the taste and appearance of food, such as saffron, cinnamon, thyme and rosemary, and exciting the palate, including are pepper, paprika, nutmeg and chili varieties. Besides the culinary use of herbs and spices have been great allies in medicine, as well as being used in primitive rituals of witchcraft. Before the use of drugs are often prescribed remedies made with herbs, often effective, sometimes have been used for making or obtaining certain compounds found in some medications


The castillians discovered the vanilla in the early 16th century to conquer America. Nothing suggests that this spice had drawn the attention of the first inland expeditions through Central America, but the decisive discovery of vanilla is related to the arrival of the Spaniards in Tenochtitlan, the current Mexico, and with the meeting, in 1519, Hernán Cortés to the Aztec Emperor Moctezuma II, which Sahagún describes their customs, and in particular the use of vanilla flavoring your chocolate.

1.3. Other plants :

Althought the most important plants have been related before, there were many others plants with interest in cooking, like chirimoya , papaya , penaut, sunflower, pineaple, pumpkin,... there were two plants with great importance in other industries: cotton and snuff.

Snuff is a nicotine containing product made of pulverised tobacco leaves. It is an example of smokeless tobacco. It originated in the Americas and was in common use in Europe by the 17th century.

external image 220px-Tabaka.JPG
external image 220px-Tabaka.JPG

Cotton is a soft, fluffy staple fiver that grows in a boll, or protective capsule, around the seeds of cotton plants of the genus gossipium. The plant is a shrub native to tropical and subtropical regions around the world, including the Americas, Africa, India, and Pakistan. The fiber most often is spun into yarn thread and used to make a soft, breathable textile, which is the most widely used natural-fiber cloth in clothing today.

1.4. Metals :

The wish for American gold helped the exploration of the 16th century. What was once abundant in Central America and Mesoamerica was exploited by countries such as England, France and Spain. In Mexico, the precious stones such as jade and turquoise were abundant, as well, and considered sacred by indigenous peoples. When the Castilians arrived in the 1520s they admired the richness of the indigenous inhabitants apparently had its rich resource for granted.

It is a soft, bright, yellow metal which is heavy, malleable and ductile.This metal is usually found in its purest form, in the form of seeds. Gold is one of the metals traditionally used to mint coins; used in jewellery, the industry and electronics for its resistance to corrosion. It has been used as a symbol of purity, value, royalty, etc. It has been a valuable and highly sought-after precious metal for coinage, jewelry, and other arts since long before the beginning of recorded history.

Silver has long been valued as a precious metal, and it is used to make ornaments, jewelry, high-value
tableware, utensils , and currency coins. Today, silver metal is also used in electrical contacts and
conductors, in mirrors and in catalysis of chemical reactions. Its compounds are used in photographic
film and dilute silver nitrate solutions and other silver compounds are used as disinfectants and microbiocides.
While many medical antimicrobial uses of silver have been supplanted by antibiotics, further research into
clinical potential continues.

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2 Things which castilians brought to America:

Gunpowder is a mixture of sulfur, charcoal, and potassium nitrate. Because of its burning properties and the amount of heat and gas volume that it generates, gunpowder has been widely used as a propellant in firearms
and as a pyrotechnic composition in fireworks, to for shot and gunpowder for military purposes were made by skilled military tradesmen, later called firemakers, and were also required to craft fireworks for celebrations of victory or peace.

Coffee is a food frequently consumed as a beverage obtained by infusion from the fruits and seeds. Coffee cultivation is widespread in many tropical countries, especially Brazil, but also in Africa.

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external image 230px-Roasted_coffee_beans.jpg

3.New geography

Castilians discovered different places:
The andes, which were a mountain range near the incas empire; they were discovered in Pizarro´s expedition
the east coast of America by the Explorer Italian Giovanni da Verrazzano in 1524.
A lot of islands in the coast of the atlantic ocean, such as Trinidad y Martín Vaz ,Archipiélago de San Pedro y San Pablo, Atolón de las Rocas, Fernando de Noronha, Cayos de la Florida

3.1 New portulan charts

This small codex consists of five 295 x 392 mm parchment folios, stacked and glued at the spine to form a book that measures closed 300 x 205 mm, bound in dark brown leather, embossed with ornamental motifs that seem of the time. Its state of conservation is perfect and only the silver of some adornments is somewhat oxidized.

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external image 220px-Map-heart-054.jpg

3.2 New civilizations

The civilizations were:
Between 2000 and 300 BCE, complex cultures began to form in Mesoamerica. Some matured into advanced
pre-Columbian Mesoamerican civilizations such as the Olmec, Teotihuacan, Maya, Zapotec, Mixtec, Huastec, Purepecha, Toltec, and Mexica (Aztecs), which flourished for nearly 3,500 years before first contact with Europeans.
The Aztecs, the Incas and de Mayas civilization:
The Maya was a Mesoamerican civilization, noted for the only Known fully developed wrtten language of the pre-Columbian American, as well as for its art, architecture, and mathematical and astronomical systems.

The Inca civilization began as a tribe in the Cuzco area, where the legendary first Sapa Inca, Manco Capac, founded the kingdom of Cuzco around 1200. Under the leadership of the descendants of Manco Capac, the Inca state grew to absorb other Andean communities.

The Aztec people were certain race; groups of central Mexico, particularly those groups who spoke the Nahuatl language and who dominated large parts of Mesoamerica in the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries, a period referred to as the late post-classic period in Mesoamerican chronology


3.3 New maps
It is a work of large format recorded in woodcut and printed in twelve sheets separate each one in order to form a world, not colored mural map with them. It was developed in the Vosagense Gymnasium of Saint-Dié under the direction of Martin Waldseemüller and printed in 1507 under the title Universalis cosmographia secundum Phtolomaei traditionem et Americi Vespucii aliorumque lustrationes.

New Trading Routes(In Work)
3.4 Nautical navigation
A brillant device used to determine Latitude by observing the altitude and position of the sun,star or other planets
The backstaff or backQuadrant is an navigational instrument that was used to determine latitude by measuring the altitude of the sun in the sky
The most infliential invention ever given to the age of Exploration-Thee Mariner´s Cp,àss
Compass Rose
Brief history of how the little ilustration found a map or chart identyfying the different points of direction came to be
Cross Staff:
Simple land surveying tool adopted for navigational use at sea.
Land Line:
Knotted cord that runs out from a reel to a piece of wood, udef to gauge the speed of a vessel at sea.
Navigational Instrument used to observe certain stars relative to the pole star in Ursa Minor,Enabling you to discover the hour at night.
Rare medieval navigational instrument that combined the features of an astrolabe and a quadrant
Reflecting Circle
19th century nagigational instrument in the form of a graduated circle, used at sea to find the longitude by measuring the distance between the spotter and the moon.
The Sextant
The pinnacle of the nautical navigation , the sextan has been used for almost 300 years- even by NASA Gemini missions
Traverse Board
Early device used to calculate speed, distance, direction and other navigational essentials in the 16th century