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The Silk Road Information

From the 2nd century BC to the end of the 14th century AD, the Silk Road originated from Chang’an (now Xian) in the east and ended at the Mediterranean in the west, connecting China with the countries in Asia and Europe. It made a great “Cultural Bridge”, contributing greatly to the cultural exchange between China and the West.

What is the Silk Road?

Historically, the Silk Road, or Silk Routes, refers to a vast network of interlinking trade routes across the Afro-Eurasian landmass that connected East, South, and Western Asia with the Mediterranean and European world, as well as parts of North and East Africa. There are many branches and sub-branches, such as the Silk Road on the Sea and the Southern Silk Road.

However, the Silk Road we usually mentioned refers to the branch across the oasis, gobi deserts and high plateau. It mainly traverses Shaanxi, Gansu Hexi Corridor and Xinjiang. There are many famous attractions and historic relics along the route.

The Silk Road Map

What goods were traded on the Silk Road?

Although a German researcher Ferdinand Richthofen coined the term "the Great Silk Road" in his fundamental work, named "China", in 1877, and the Venetian merchant Marco Polo named this trade rout as "silk road", the silk is the only good traded on the routes. The different regions exported their rich goods:

China: silk, teas, salt, sugar, porcelain, spices, bronze ornaments, metal, ornate bronze mirrors, umbrellas, medicines, Chinese paper…

Central Asia: camels, expensive horses, the seeds of grapes and Lucerne, military equipment, gold and silver, semi-precious stones and glass items, woolen goods, carpets, curtains, blankets and rugs…

India: fabrics, spices, semi-precious stones, dyes and ivory…

Eastern Europe: skins, fur animals, bark for skin processing, cattle and slaves

Northern Europe: furs, skins, honey and slaves.

The Silk

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