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Silk in Antiquity
Definition by Mark Cartwright

Silk in Antiquity

Silk is a fabric first produced in Neolithic China from the filaments of the cocoon of the silk worm. It became a staple source of income for small farmers and, as weaving techniques improved, the reputation of Chinese silk spread so that...
Silk Road
Definition by Joshua J. Mark

Silk Road

The Silk Road was a network of ancient trade routes, formally established during the Han Dynasty of China in 130 BCE, which linked the regions of the ancient world in commerce between 130 BCE-1453 CE. The Silk Road was not a single route...
How an Adventure-loving American Saved the Thai Silk Industry
Article by Kim Martins

How an Adventure-loving American Saved the Thai Silk Industry

Bangkok was once more commonly known as the Venice of the East due to the intricate network of waterways that crisscrossed the city in the 19th century CE. There were few roads in the 1800s CE so the city's inhabitants travelled and traded...
A Bowl of Raw Silk & Silk Cocoons
Image by Kim Martins

A Bowl of Raw Silk & Silk Cocoons

A Bowl of Raw Silk and Silk Cocoons on display at the Jim Thompson House Museum in Bangkok, Thailand. This photo was taken in July 2019 CE.
The Eastern Trade Network of Ancient Rome
Article by James Hancock

The Eastern Trade Network of Ancient Rome

The life of wealthy Romans was filled with exotic luxuries such as cinnamon, myrrh, pepper, or silk acquired through long-distance international trade. Goods from the Far East arrived in Rome through two corridors – the Red Sea and the Persian...
Achievements of the Han Dynasty
Article by Mark Cartwright

Achievements of the Han Dynasty

The achievements of the Han dynasty (206 BCE - 220 CE), often regarded by scholars and the ancient Chinese themselves as the golden era of Chinese culture, would have lasting effects on all who followed, particularly in the areas of government...
Global Trade in the 13th Century
Article by James Hancock

Global Trade in the 13th Century

In the 13th century, astonishing quantities of spices and silk passed from the Far East to Europe. Exact amounts are not known, but spice popularity in both cuisine and medicine reached its historical peak during the Middle Ages in Europe...
The Silk Road
Image by Shizhao

The Silk Road

This map indicates trading routes used around the 1st century CE centred on the Silk Road. The routes remain largely valid for the period 500 BCE to 500 CE. Geographical labels for regions are adapted from the Geography of Ptolemy (c...
Trade in the Roman World
Article by Mark Cartwright

Trade in the Roman World

Regional, inter-regional and international trade was a common feature of the Roman world. A mix of state control and a free market approach ensured goods produced in one location could be exported far and wide. Cereals, wine and olive oil...
Trade in the Phoenician World
Article by Mark Cartwright

Trade in the Phoenician World

The Phoenicians, based on a narrow coastal strip of the Levant, put their excellent seafaring skills to good use and created a network of colonies and trade centres across the ancient Mediterranean. Their major trade routes were by sea to...
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