The Silk Road

1642 Words 7 Pages
During the Han Dynasty of China, the Silk Road was an established system of multiple routes, well-known for connecting the regions of the ancient world in trade. Despite the name, the Silk Road was not one singular route – in fact, it linked China, Japan, Persia, India, Arabia and Europe. During the Han Dynasty, emperor Wu sent one of his men to seek the help of neighboring nomadic tribes in attempt to band together to fend off the Xiongnu. It was on this journey that the emissary came across descendants of Alexander the Great’s army who, with their horses, would be a worthy ally in the emperor’s fight. This mission to find men to fight was the first exposure that the Chinese had had with the western world. After this event took place the Chinese …show more content…
It is because of the cultural habits of the nomadic people and their ability to travel that we find a common ancestor at the time period of the Silk Road. During the era of the Silk Road, we are able to trace back to the first modern day humans who traveled these routes and bred with other early humans resulting in the ancestors of most present day people. This same phenomenon can be seen with livestock and crops. One example is the domestication of horses and their growing importance to the expansion of the Silk Road. Horses were first found in the wild, but were soon domesticated due to their structure and how it could help the nomadic people who traveled the road. These horses were used as a means of transportation because they were able to break through ice with their hooves and could cover longer distances while carrying large loads on their backs. With the help of these great creatures the spread of crops was possible to areas where they had not been seen before. The horse came to be associated with, “warfare, ruler ship and power”. Due to the ease of transportation and their resilience to the elements, Mongols grew an immunity to certain pathogens which they inadvertently carried with them as they traveled. One such pathogen resulted in the Black Death in Europe killing much of their …show more content…
A variety of goods and materials that the Silk Road could not provide were delivered through sea route. It was believed that European ships in the Indian Ocean led the Silk Road to declination due to the prosperous sea trade route. Millward, on the other hand, had a different stance as to why the Silk Road never died, and never will. He says trade by waters in the Indian Ocean had already been occurring during the prosperity of the Silk Road, and exchanges continued for centuries afterwards. Coast-to-coast exchanges were not new, but complimentary to the Silk Road; “maritime trade routes had for centuries already linked China to the Indian Ocean, the east African coast, and even via the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean.”. Merchants in Central Asia to China still convened exchanges in high values. Exchanges dating back from the first century were still in effect with high consumer demands. Goods were limited when traveling transcontinental because of the dangers of sea expeditions – the value of the product had to be high in quality relatively compared to the weight. As well as a great passage of trade for the original rulers of the route, it has become an attraction for tourists today to see the remains of great civilizations. The origin of the Silk Road continues to flourish as it plays an important role in today’s history for educational purposes, businesses and

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