HISTORY OF SILK ROAD

The Great Silk Road is the cross route network which passed through Europe and Asia starting from the first millennium. The main part of the Great Silk Road originates in the Capital of China Changan (Khiyan) and is then divided into the northern and southern routes which pass through the Taklamakan desert of the Central Asia. After that the they unite and pass the Iranian plateau all the way to the Antiokh and Tire cities.

In the 4th century B.C., the Chinese silk had an access to the Mediterranean markets when the Macedonian Alexander passed the river Hind in the direction of the Central Asia.

The major period of the Great Silk Road activity is the times of the ruling of Khan dynasty in China *206-B.C-220B.C.), the Tang dynasty in China (613-907 A.C.) and Mongolian emperor Khanat (the 13th-14th centuries A.C.). The Mongolians who ruled the great empire undertook the protection of the north route of the Great Silk Road passing the territories of Europe and Asia.

The sea roads that are the important elements for trade and communication can be regarded as the part of the Great Silk Road. In times of the dynasty of khans the Chinese vessels conducted trade with the kingdoms of the South Asia. China, Korea and Japanese ships carried freights from the main land to Japan by the East Chinese and Japanese Seas in the 7th and 8th centuries. The only major artistic creations and gold and silver wares of the Silk Road -the Shoshoin collection of the 8th century belonging to the Japanese emperor have been preserved until present. This collection reflects the art of the Mediterranean states, Iran, Central Asia, China and Japan. The Chinese vessels also sailed to India and Iran, and in the 15th century to Africa. Indians and Arabians maintained trade relations along the south sea routes. In the 16th centuries Portugal and other European states started to sail to Eastern Asia.

A number of scientific and technological innovations were carried from East to West by the Silk Road. Barite, magnate compass, printing device, silk, ceramic, mathematics and colored wares were gradually carried to the west therefore the West did not have any idea of their origin.

Musical instruments traveled by the Silk Road as well. Stringed, percussion and wind instruments influenced each other both from the East and from the West. Five stringed ud of India and one stringed ud Egypt was discovered in the Shossoin collection. The tongue instrument mizmar of Egypt is considered the forefather of European clarinet and gaboy. The plates were brought to China from India and the Chinese gongs later spread in Europe.

The network of the great trade routes famous as the Great Silk Road had communicated the people and the traditions of Europe and Asia beginning from the first millennium up to the mid second millennium. These historical routes were the major transporters of valuable wares, information and knowledge between East and West and lead to the exchange of scientific and cultural traditions between the Silk Road countries.

The trade routes of the Great Silk Road expanded by passing China, Japan, Mongolia, Iran, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Azerbaijan and other countries.