Marco Polo and Ibn Battuta Writings

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This handout includes excerpts from both the Travels of Marco Polo and the Travels in Africa and Asia by Ibn Battuta. The excerpts for Marco Polo focus on Kublai Khan's Palace, Chinese coal, Chinese salt works, and the island of Java. Ibn Battuta's excerpts focus on the cities of Damascus, Mecca, Constantinople, Taghaza, and Mali. The students are asked to code and annotate for the authors' perspective, motive, and biases, hopefully drawing out that Polo is interested in commerce, while Battuta is more occupied with religion and pure curiosity.