The 'Silk Road' is the name given to a series of trade routes created during the Han Dynasty that stretched across Eurasia. People started trading around 200 BC.

Map of the old Silk Road

The Ottoman Empire formally boycotted trade with the west in 1453 AD, thus preventing further use of the routes. Along with merchandise, ideas and culture were also transported. Knowledge, religion, and technologies from the mixture of populations were some of the non-physical things that were exchanged.


The Silk Road connected China through the Middle East to Europe. It crosses through present-day Xinjiang, Iran, and Turkey. Sea routes also connected present-day Indonesia, India, and Somalia.


Silk was a very popular textile produced in China. It was punishable by death to give out the procedure to make it. However, silk eventually was introduced to the empires of Europe. There, it was considered exotic and used strictly for the royalty.

Other MerchandiseEdit

Spices, grains, cloth, food, metal, and wood were other types of merchandise exchanged.

A caravanserai used by travelers


There were a variety of methods that traders used on the Silk Road. For land travel, caravans with horses were mainly used. Ships were also used for the maritime route and were chiefly used for the transport of spices. Large inns (called Caravanserais) were contructed to house and feed the travelers.