What Was the Silk Road?

The Silk Road was an ancient network of trade routes that connected the East and West. It stretched from China to the Mediterranean Sea, allowing merchants to transport goods such as silk, spices, gold, silver, ivory and other luxury items across Eurasia. The Silk Road played a major role in connecting cultures and facilitating economic exchange between them for centuries.

The Silk Road began during the Han Dynasty (206 BC-220 AD) when Chinese Emperor Wu Di sent Zhang Qian on diplomatic missions to Central Asia. During his travels he established trading posts along the route which allowed merchants to travel safely through hostile territories while exchanging goods with local people. As time went on more traders joined this lucrative business venture leading to increased cultural interaction between different regions of Eurasia. By its peak in the 14th century it had become one of the most important trade networks in history linking Europe with Asia via land routes rather than sea voyages which were much slower at that time period.

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