Silk Road #infographic

Silk Road #infographic

One of the most popular and evocative roads in the world is The Silk Path. Named after the trade that originated in response to Chinese silk demand, its roots can be traced back more than 3,000 years.

China had held a monopoly on silk production for decades, jealously protecting the secrets of sericulture. As a result, there was an insatiable demand for silk in the West and this lucrative trade attracted Central Asian traders, trading products for silk such as horses, furs, jade and ivory. This in turn led to the springing up of trading posts along the road, which over time developed into rich and important cities, such as Uzbekistan's Samarkand and Bukhara.

The Silk Road reached from Xian in eastern China to Constantinople (now Istanbul) at its maximum length, but its various branches extended to the Indian subcontinent, South East Asia, through to the Middle East, and there were sea routes to northern Africa. With the exception of the Americas, this was a genuinely global economy,


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