Silk Road

Topics: Silk Road, Central Asia, China Pages: 4 (1677 words) Published: January 24, 2012
The Silk Road was a trade network the connected the East to the West on the Eurasian continent. This trade included both overland and maritime routes. The central Asian kingdoms and peoples became the nexus point for much of this trade which lasted from the 3rd century B.C.E. to the 15th century C.E. Many products and other cultural expressions moved along the Silk Road and diffused among various kingdoms along it. In breaking down and separating the patterns of interaction that occurred along the Silk Road from 200 B.C.E. to 1450 C.E., one can conclude that changes and continuities in these interactions included products traded (changes in specific products and impact, continuity in luxury goods), cultural expressions and diffusion (changes in artistic expressions and societal impacts, continuity in diffusion), and religion (changes in the religions that traveled and impact, continuity in spread of religion along the trade route ).

One of the patterns of interaction along the Silk Road was in the products that were traded. The Silk Road trade system was created by interactions between Han China in the 2nd century B.C.E. and their western neighbors when an expedition for alliances to deal with a pesky neighbor turned into something else. The first product traded for on the Silk Road were Ferghana horses that the Chinese leader of the expedition Zhang Qian brought back with him which stimulated a trade between the Han and Central Asia for these fine war horses . In return, Central Asian kingdoms began to see various Chinese goods such as silk but also jades, medicinal herb, bronze and other luxury goods. This trade continued throughout the first four centuries of the timeframe with more groups getting involved in the lucrative trade. Indian spices and cotton, European gold and silver, and Central Asian horses and camels all started being acquired by each other . With the fall of both the Han and Roman empires by the 476 CE, the trade declined due to less...
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