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The Silk Road
Transcript of The Silk Road
The Silk Road was a series of linked trade networks that extended from the Mediterranean Sea to Eastern China. People from nomads to citizens of major civilizations traded along the Silk Road. The silk road spanned about 4,000 miles and was popularly used for nearly 2,000 years.
What was Traded?
Many items were traded on the Silk Road, and the trade route's name came from the extensive trade of silk from China on the route. Some items include:
Foods (grapes, carrots, peppers, beans, cucumbers, and pomegranates)
Jewelry, Chinese porcelains, and silk
The Silk Road led to economic prosperity for many cultures. Besides trade the Silk Road also caused many changes and influences in different areas such as Religion, Disease, Inventions, and other aspects of culture.
The Silk Road spread religions throughout different areas. The most notable religion that was spread is Buddhism. It was spread from Buddhist Indians who traded with the Chinese. Other religions that made their way into other cultures include:
Statue of Buddha in a Chinese Monastery
Since people came into contact with many other people along the Silk Road, many diseases and illnesses spread, especially because those foreign people did not have immunity to those people's diseases. Small pox and measles are some diseases that were exchanged but the most notable disease that was spread along the Silk Road is the Bubonic Plague, or the Black Death.
Important technological inventions were spread from culture to culture. Some invention from China that have a lasting impact are:
Paper (Wrote on hard-to-handle silk before)
Gunpowder (Used for weapons and medicine)
Chinese Magnetic Compass
Ancient Chinese Paper
Printed Chinese Paper
Common Forms of Transportation
Boat for overseas
Roman Trade Ship
Because Buddhism spread to China, Buddhist art, such as statues and murals, can be found throughout China. Also, the trade of ceramics (porcelain), textiles (silk and types of weaving), metalwork, glass, and other artistic forms influenced different areas. Other aspects of culture that were spread include food and languages. Food was traded, and the people had to communicate when trading, so different languages spread during trade along the Silk Road.
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Figure from Buddhism-
Ceramics Traded by
Decline of the Silk Road
As overland trade began to decrease, sea trade increasingly became more popular. Sea trade allowed for more goods to be carried. Also, ships could travel much quicker than the overland transportation. The advancements in technology led to the decline of the Silk Road. Although the Silk Road declined, the diffusion of culture still lasts today, and our world would not be the same without it.