See Article History Spice trade, the cultivation, preparation, transport, and merchandising of spices and herbs, an enterprise of ancient origins and great cultural and economic significance.
Woven silk textile from Tomb No. For instance, Warwick Ball contends that the maritime spice trade with India and Arabia was far more consequential for the economy of the Roman Empire than the silk trade with Chinawhich at sea was conducted mostly through India and on land was handled by numerous intermediaries such as the Sogdians.
Significantly, these mines were not very far from the lapis lazuli and spinel "Balas Ruby" mines in Badakhshanand, although separated by the formidable Pamir Mountainsroutes across them were apparently in use from very early times.
This style is particularly reflected in the rectangular belt plaques made of gold and bronze, with other versions in jade and steatite. Scythians accompanied the Assyrian Esarhaddon on his invasion of Egyptand their distinctive triangular arrowheads have been found as far south as Aswan.
These nomadic peoples were dependent upon neighbouring settled populations for a number of important technologies, and in addition to raiding vulnerable settlements for these commodities, they also encouraged long-distance merchants as a source of income through the enforced payment of tariffs.
Sogdians played a major role in facilitating trade between China and Central Asia along the Silk Roads as late as the 10th century, their language serving as a lingua franca for Asian trade as far back as the 4th century.
By the time of Herodotus c. By having fresh horses and riders ready at each relay, royal couriers could carry messages and traverse the length of the road in nine days, while normal travellers took about three months.
The next major step in the development of the Silk Road was the expansion of the Greek empire of Alexander the Great into Central Asia. They continued to expand eastward, especially during the reign of Euthydemus — BCEwho extended his control beyond Alexandria Eschate to Sogdiana.
There are indications that he may have led expeditions as far as Kashgar in Chinese Turkestanleading to the first known contacts between China and the West around BCE. The Greek historian Strabo writes, "they extended their empire even as far as the Seres China and the Phryni.
Chinese exploration of Central Asia[ edit ] Main articles: This extension came around BCE, with the embassies of the Han dynasty to Central Asia following the reports of the ambassador Zhang Qian  who was originally sent to obtain an alliance with the Yuezhi against the Xiongnu.
Zhang Qian visited directly the kingdom of Dayuan in Ferghanathe territories of the Yuezhi in Transoxianathe Bactrian country of Daxia with its remnants of Greco-Bactrian rule, and Kangju.
He also made reports on neighbouring countries that he did not visit, such as Anxi ParthiaTiaozhi MesopotamiaShendu Pakistan and the Wusun. Ferghana Dayuan "Great Ionians " and the possessions of Bactria Ta-Hsia and Parthian Empire Anxi are large countries, full of rare things, with a population living in fixed abodes and given to occupations somewhat identical with those of the Chinese people, but with weak armies, and placing great value on the rich produce of China" Hou Hanshu, Later Han History.
Others  say that Emperor Wu was mainly interested in fighting the Xiongnu and that major trade began only after the Chinese pacified the Hexi Corridor.
The soil in China lacked Selenium, a deficiency which contributed to muscular weakness and reduced growth in horses. Even after the construction of the Great Wall, nomads gathered at the gates of the wall to exchange. Soldiers sent to guard the wall were often paid in silk which they traded with the nomads.
The Chinese subsequently sent numerous embassies, around ten every year, to these countries and as far as Seleucid Syria. As a rule, rather more than ten such missions went forward in the course of a year, and at the least five or six.
These connections marked the beginning of the Silk Road trade network that extended to the Roman Empire. It has been suggested that the Chinese crossbow was transmitted to the Roman world on such occasions, although the Greek gastraphetes provides an alternative origin.
Ernest Dupuy and Trevor N. Dupuy suggest that in 36 BCE, a "Han expedition into central Asia, west of Jaxartes River, apparently encountered and defeated a contingent of Roman legionaries.
Sogdiana modern Bukharaeast of the Oxus River, on the Polytimetus River, was apparently the most easterly penetration ever made by Roman forces in Asia. The margin of Chinese victory appears to have been their crossbows, whose bolts and darts seem easily to have penetrated Roman shields and armour.
Even the rest of the nations of the world which were not subject to the imperial sway were sensible of its grandeur, and looked with reverence to the Roman people, the great conqueror of nations. Thus even Scythians and Sarmatians sent envoys to seek the friendship of Rome.
Nay, the Seres came likewise, and the Indians who dwelt beneath the vertical sun, bringing presents of precious stones and pearls and elephants, but thinking all of less moment than the vastness of the journey which they had undertaken, and which they said had occupied four years. In truth it needed but to look at their complexion to see that they were people of another world than ours.The Silk Road was an ancient network of trade routes, formally established during the Han Dynasty of China, which linked the regions of the ancient The Silk Road was an ancient network of trade routes, formally established during the Han Dynasty of China, which linked the regions of the ancient world in commerce between BCE CE.
In fact, some historians believe the key contribution of Silk Road was not silk, but the cultural connections. Silk Road transmission of Buddhism Roman relationships: As mentioned earlier, the distance & geography meant that China and Rome never was in direct contact.
The map of the colonial period was largely drawn in those frenzied years when all of Europe clamored for a piece of the spice trade, using dubious and often brutal tactics to establish a foothold. The Silk Road was an ancient network of trade routes, formally established during the Han Dynasty of China, which linked the regions of the ancient world in commerce between BCE CE.
As the Silk Road was not a single thoroughfare from east to west, the term 'Silk Routes’ has become.
Students will use technology to explore the social, cultural, religious, and economic impact of the Silk Road and other transcontinental trade routes between the Classical Era and Gunpowder Empires of World History. Silk Road, also called Silk Route, ancient trade route, linking China with the West, that carried goods and ideas between the two great civilizations of Rome and China.