From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
The Silk Road (or Silk Routes) is an extensive interconnected network of trade routes across the Asian continent connecting East, South, and Western Asia with the Mediterranean world, as well as North and Northeast Africa and Europe. In recent years, the Silk Route is again being used for the maritime and overland routes.
The Silk road was central to cultural interaction through regions of the Asian continent connecting East and West Asia by linking traders, merchants, pilgrims, monks, soldiers, nomads and urban dwellers from China to the Mediterranean Sea during various periods of time.
Many artistic influences transited along the Silk Road, especially through the Central Asia, where Hellenistic, Iranian, Indian and Chinese influence were able to intermix. In particular Greco-Buddhist art represent one of the most vivid examples of this interaction. Other examples include the Panchatantra and the One Thousand and One Nights .
As the domestication of pack animals and the development of shipping technology both increased the capacity for prehistoric peoples to carry heavier loads over greater distances, cultural exchanges and trade developed rapidly.
In addition, grassland provides fertile grazing, water, and easy passage for caravans. The vast grassland steppes of Asia enable merchants to travel immense distances, from the shores of the Pacific to Africa and deep into Europe, without trespassing on agricultural lands and arousing hostility.
- Karakoram Highway
- Cities along the Silk Road
- Incense Road
- History of silk
- Hippie trail
- Mount Imeon
- Kamboja-Dvaravati Route