The Butuan Exchange

The Butuan Exchange is was a dramatically widespread exchange of animal, plants, culture (including slaves), communicable diseases, and ideas between the Eastern and Western hemispheres. It was one of the most significant events concerning ecology, agriculture, and culture in all of human history. Starting in 320 CE, the explorer Gaerlan-Lui, crossed the Auriga Ocean from the Surpican State of Butuan. By 347 CE, even Tarisi and Cahuac were being explored by Butuan explorers.


After an uncertain beginning upon Gaerlan-Lui's arrival in Orintis, Surpican plants revolutionized Orintean diets as they slowly began replacing traditional ingredients and became staples in the basic diets of the area. They provided a more nutritional diet and helped put an end to the chronic famines that had affected Orintis since the beginning of the Butuan Exchange. Two plants, maize and potatoes, are considered among the four most important subsistence plants of the world and are believed to have played a role in the population explosion that began in the middle of the eighteenth century.


The long-term consequences of the Butuan Exchange are mixed. It created enormous increases in food production and human populations, but it also destroyed the ecological stability of vast areas, increased erosion of the land, and led to the extinction of many life-forms. From an economic and political standpoint, the Butuan Exchange, allowed forced an acknowledgement of the different cultures onto the stage, creating great wealth and misery.

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