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For millennia, the silk roads have been the arteries of international trade. Today, these ancient routes still play a key role. Over the ages, the passages across the region have shifted and evolved due to changing political circumstances, environmental forces, and the prevalence of deadly illness. Despite this, the ceaseless flow of goods and culture between East and West has continued unabated.
Taking us back to the origins of these enduring networks, Geordie Torr describes the beginnings of early trade, the ancient cultures that breathed life into these routes, and the mighty dynasties which rose to exert control before fading into the sands of time. The trade that took place along these roads led to exchanges in art, culture, and technology; as the delicate silks woven by the Chinese and Indians arrived in Europe, so wool, gold, and silverware travelled back to the Orient, while innovations in sea travel allowed the maritime routes to thrive.
The stories of the first intrepid travellers who left behind the safety of their homelands to risk their lives in alien lands are scattered throughout the pages and highlight the basic human compulsion to explore.
Featuring stunning photography that celebrates the natural beauty of the routes alongside artworks illustrating the incredible skill of craftsmen through the ages, The Silk Roads distils thousands of years of history into an accessible and fascinating tale.