Silk Road Trade & Travel Encyclopedia

 To Start Your Silk Routes Journey CLICK on a Letter from the Alphabetical Glossary
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21st Century Silk Road - OBOR China's Initiative & Related Trade Routes
A journey of a 1,000 miles begins with a single step

 In 1877 the term "Seidenstraße" (Die Seidenstrassen, literally "Silk Road")
was coined by the German geographer, cartographer and explorer Ferdinand von Richthofen.

The overland Silk Road & ancient routes cross the Asian continent, from China in Asia, to Turkey and the Mediterranean,
where the routes extend by sea to Europe, Arabia, and North Africa. Central Asia is the heart of the largest landmass on earth, known as Eurasia.
Central Asia's role as the conduit between cultures is symbolized by the "Silk Road."

"Medieval Commerce (Asia)" From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1926

Though it may appear as a single road (in red above), the "Silk Road" was a network of centuries-old trade routes,
which enabled traders to travel from Xian (Chang'an) in China, to Istanbul (Constantinople) in Turkey.
The ancient spice and incense routes were also connected to the Silk Routes by ports and sea routes.

As the most well-known overland trading route of ancient civilization,
the Silk Road grew under the Chinese Han Dynasty (202 BC - AD 220) during  the first and second centuries AD,
and connected the Yellow River Valley of China to the Mediterranean Sea.

Click for further map details of China

More than half of the East-West Silk Routes are located in China.
The Chinese section of the Silk Road began in the city of Xi'an (in Shaanxi province colored red at right),
then passed through the provinces of Gansu, Ningxia, Qinghai, and Xinjiang (the largest province, colored orange to the left)

Click for deserts & mountains

The Chinese section of the Silk Routes, linking Central Asia to China,
was a region where ancient civilizations of the East and West interacted.

Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, China
Northwest Xinjiang, Chinese section of Silk Road
Southwest Xinjiang, Chinese section of Silk Road
Northeast Xinjiang, Chinese section of Silk Road
Southeast Xinjiang, Chinese section of Silk Road

Maps of Overland & Maritime Routes

Routes Routes Central Asia TransOrient Routes
Trade Items Trade Items Central Asia Central Asia Bactria
Han Routes Phoenician Adm.ZhengHe Empire Routes Bukhara-Mashhad
Çin-Türkiye Roman -Han Empires Mongols Mongols
Kervansaray Central Asia Central Asia Central Asia Central Asia
Central Asia Central Asia China Near East Xian-Kashgar
East Asia Asia Great Wall Gobi Desert Taklamakan
Incense Trade Hexi Corridor Arabia Arabian Routes African-Sahara
Spice Routes Slave Trade Colony Routes Routes Nabataean
Spice Sea Routes Sea Routes Eurasia Eurasia
Silk & Spice Routes Sea Voyages Global Routes Maritime
Eurasia Explorers Navigators Routes Chinese

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