Silk Timeline

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  • c. 3600 BCE
    First appearance of silk in China.
  • c. 2700 BCE
    The earliest known examples of woven silk from Qianshanyang, China.
  • 130 BCE
    The Silk Road is officially opened.
  • 129 BCE
    Parthians conquer Mesopotamia. The Silk Road to China is now controlled by the Parthians.
  • 27 BCE - 14 CE
    Reign of Augustus Caesar in Rome, Chinese silk is very popular.
  • 161 CE - 180 CE
    Reign of Emperor Marcus Aurelius in Rome, Chinese silk popularity endures.
  • 527 CE - 565 CE
    Reign of Emperor Julian of the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire. Beginning of Byzantine silk industry.
  • 542 CE
    The bubonic plague, thought to have been brought through the Silk Road, decimates Constantinople.