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Exploration entailed discovery of unknown lands by a certain culture and recognition of environments favorable for settlement or valuable resources for trade and, ultimately, a market for elaborated products of the metropolis. It normally implied contact with distinct and distant cultures and sometimes with organized political structures so that, depending on the attitude of both parts, the contact could derive into conflict, cooperation, or assimilation. Exploration also meant confronting harsh environments, storms, famine, thirst, diseases and scurvy in the seas, cold and dry regions, and tropical forests.

Exploration has been a key component in the configuration of empires and states, preceding or accompanying political expansion. The motivations were a combination of commercial, political, religious, and scientific interests. Discovery and exploration commonly brought parallel progress in the ...

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