Silk Road

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The Silk Road (or Silk Routes) is an extensive interconnected network of trade routes across the Asian continent connecting East, South, and Western Asia with the Mediterranean world, as well as North and Northeast Africa and Europe. The Silk Road gets its name from the lucrative Chinese silk trade, a major reason for the connection of trade routes into an extensive trans-continental network.[1][2]

The German terms “Seidenstraße” and “Seidenstraßen”- ‘the Silk Road(s)’ or ‘Silk Route(s) were first used in 1877 by Baron Ferdinand von Richthofen, who made seven expeditions to China from 1868 to 1872. The English term "The Silk Road" has come into general use in spite of the fact it was a network of routes, few of which were more than rough caravan tracks, and silk was by no means the only item traded along them.[3] China traded silk, spices, teas, and porcelain; while India traded ivory, textiles, precious stones, and pepper.

In recent years, both the maritime and overland Silk Routes are again being used, often closely following the ancient routes.

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