The Silk Road was many things: a connection for the East and West, a valuable empire building resource, focus of cultures colliding, and a strategic trade route. The most important of these is the connection between the East and West. Without this trade route cultures would have developed completely different, and the already distant lands would be in seemingly different universes. Geography
The Silk Road is not just one road, but an interconnected series of trade routes stretching across the Eurasian continent. The routes travel roughly 5,000 miles from modern day Japan, through the Middle East, and into Europe on land and sea. As it extends westward from North China, the Silk Road divides into northern and southern routes to avoid the Tibetan Plateau. The northern route passes through the Bulgar–Kypchak region. Its travelers would go northwest through the Chinese province of Gansu, and split into three further routes, two of these routes pass north and south of the Taklamakan desert and rejoin at Kashgar; the other goes north of the Tien Shan mountains through Turfan and Almaty. All of these routes cross high mountain passes to join up at Kokand in the Fergana Valley, and the roads continue west across the Karakum Desert towards Merv. The southern route is mainly a single road passing through Northern India and into Mesopotamia. Occasionally, the route will spurt towards the ocean and sea ports. The route then goes out of India through mountain passes and into Pakistan. Next the road takes a straight shot into Iran where the route splits to Italy and North Africa. Trade Increases
Soon after Roman domination of Egypt in 30 BC, regular communication and trade between Africa, Southeast Asia, China, Sri Lanka, the Middle East, India and Europe increased on an unprecedented scale. Land and sea routes were closely linked; technologies and ideas began to spread across the continents of Europe, Asia, and Africa. Intercontinental trade...
Cited: Wild, Oliver. "The Silk Road." Silk Road. 1992. 26 Mar. 2007 http://www.ess.uci.edu/~oliver/silk.html
Huang, Don. "Silk Road." ChinaPage. 1995. 26 Mar. 2007
Lendering, Jona. "Silk Road." Livius Silk Road. 1997. 27 Mar. 2007
Please join StudyMode to read the full document