The Silk Road Connecting the Continents The Products and Ideas Traveled The Road’s Importance
Oldest Trade Route • Its use began in the 5th and 4th centuries BCE. Traders used this road to carry goods to and from Asia and Europe. • It was about a 4,000 mile route and camel caravans were used to transport the goods. • Along with its western connections to the Roman Empire, it was the longest road on Earth.
Connecting the Continents • It started in Xi’an in northwestern China and headed westward through the Middle East. It ended in the LEVANT, or the shores of the eastern Mediterranean sea in Lebanon. • Later the route was extended to Shanghai, and the journey was very difficult and dangerous. • Traders traveled over mountains and through deserts in a hot climate and had to defend themselves against robbers.
Products on the Route • Crops from Western Asia: grapes, figs, cucumbers and walnuts went to China. • The Chinese traded their silk with the rest of Asia. • Europeans wanted spices and Asians wanted wool, gold and silver. • Buddhism spread along the Silk Road and it was easy for Buddhist monks and priests to share their ideas with travelers using the road. • During the 13th century, Christian leaders hoped they could convert Asians to Christians along the road…it was called Nestorian Christianity.
The Road’s Importance • This road was used until a safe sea route to Asia from Europe was possible. • Today, part of the road is still in existence. • The United Nations wants to make the Silk Road into a trans-Asian Highway.
Questions • Which was not part of the Silk Road? (India, Australia, Xi’an, China) • What was the Levant? • On the Silk Road, Christians hope that….. • What could be a decline of the Silk Road?
Answers • Australia • A place in Lebanon along the coast of the eastern Mediterranean Sea • They could convert others to Christianity • New water routes were found