Home > Knowledge > Content
Silk Road (1)
- Mar 19, 2018 -

In ancient times, on the grasslands in the Nile River Valley, the two river basins, the Indus Valley, and the northern part of the Yellow River Basin, there was a line of prairie roads that were largely connected by many incoherent small-scale trade routes. This point has been confirmed by numerous archaeological discoveries along the way. This road is the earliest form of the Silk Road

In the early Silk Road, silk was not the main source of trade. Around 15th century BC, Chinese merchants had already entered the edge of the Taklimakan Desert, purchased Hetian jade produced in the Xinjiang region, and sold seashells and other specialty products. Sub-regional trade in small-scale trade. The thoroughbred horses and other animals suitable for long-distance transportation have also been used by people continuously, making it possible for large-scale trade and cultural exchanges. For example, the regular use of the Arabian peninsula, a dromedary that is resistant to thirst, drought, and hunger, was used for commercial and transportation transportation in the 11th century BC. The Aryans and Scythians scattered across the Eurasian continent reportedly began rearing their horses around the 31st century BC. Bactrian camels were also used in business travel in the near future. In addition, the hinterland of Eurasia is a vast grassland and fertile land. It can be settled anywhere and anytime for nomadic people and the livestock transported by caravans to supply water, food and fuel nearby. Such a caravan, tour, or army can carry out long-term, long-lasting and long-distance travel without the attention of their power or hostility.


Modern people discovered the nephrite from Xinjiang in the archeology of the Emperor Wuding spouse of the Shang Dynasty. This shows that at least in the 13th century BC, China had already started to trade with the Western Regions and even beyond. According to Jin Ren’s records in “Mu Tian Zi Zhuan”, Zhou Muwang once carried westbound silk, gold and silver valuables to the coast of the Caspian Sea in 963 and brought Hetian Yu back to China. Although the truth of this claim has not been conclusive, in the archeology along the eastern section of the Silk Road, part of silk products in this period was indeed unearthed.


During the Warring States period in China, there has been a considerable amount of foreign economic exchanges in the Central Plains region. "Historical Records of Zhao Shijia" recorded a dialogue between Su Li and Zhao Huiwen Wang: "The horse and Hu dog don't go east and the jade of Kunshan doesn't come out. The three treasures are not kings." Su Li used Zhao Guo to go through the external world. The wealth threatened by the trade, Zhao Huiwen, explained this point from the side: Because people believe that “Kunshan jade” is the nephrite produced under the Kunlun Mountains, while the Hu dog is a dog breed from Central Asia and West Asia. .


With the opening of the Hexi Corridor around the 5th century BC, China’s trade with the West was promoted. The oasis city-state countries of the Indo-European people in the Tarim Basin, such as Shanshan, Qiuzi, Loulan, Shule, and Hemo, etc. A period of gradual emergence. At that time, European countries had already appeared "Seres," which originated from the "silk" of the Greek language and "Ser" which was transformed from the sound of the ancient Chinese "silk".) This is the name for China. This kind of small-scale trade exchange shows that there have been various forms of long-term trade exchanges between Zhang Fang and East and West.


In addition to silk and another famous commodity on the Silk Road, lapis lazuli from the present day in Badak, Afghanistan, began to appear in ancient China, ancient India, and ancient Egypt as early as the 13th century BC. Business travel in the region began earlier than the birth of some countries in the region. Shortly afterwards, the trade in lapis lazuli began to spread to Harappa, the civilization of India's Indus Valley. Later became one of the seven treasures of Buddhism.