Routes Followed by the First Silk Road

The Most Revolutionary Act

Episode 16: Silk Roads: Perils of Caravans and Camels

Foundations of Asian Civilization

Dr Craig Benjamin

Film Review

Prior to the development of the Silk Road* trading networks, China played no part in Afro-Eurasian trade networks dating back to 1500 BC Phoenician traders.

During the Han dynasty, the Silk Road began at the capitol Changan and traveled west along the Great Wall to the Dunhuang oasis, where snow melt from mountains on three sides provided a steady supply of water. It was a prime example of caravan cities that sprung up all along the Silk Road to provide traders secure storage for their goods and food and water for themselves and their camels. The emperor stationed a military garrison there to search all pack camels for smuggled silk worms, pods and eggs.**

After Dunhuang the Silk Road split into northern and southern branches skirting the Taklamakan Desert. The separate routes…

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