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The Great Silk Road

The famous caravan road "The Great Silk Road" can be called a vivid symbol of the ties between East and West, going back into the depths of centuries. The transcontinental route stretched for 10 thousand kilometers and became a connecting link, uniting the countries of the East with the Mediterranean.

The beginning of the functioning of the Great Silk Road dates back to the 2nd century BC and the route operated until the 15th century AD. Of course, thanks to the Silk Road, not only rare goods were distributed, but also a great exchange of knowledge, culture, technology, diplomatic relations took place.

The name "The Great Silk Road" is associated with the precious commodity for the Western countries at that time - silk. It is believed that the technology of making silk from silkworm cocoons was discovered on the territory of modern China about five thousand years ago. Gradually, the secret of making silk began to be adopted, and already in the 3rd century AD silk was learned to make in many countries, including Uzbekistan, in the Fergana Valley.

In addition to silk, the caravanners traded in other rare goods. Such precious stones as lapis lazuli from Badakhshan, carnelian from Sogdiana, jade from Khotan and even glass products, the production of which was not established in those distant times in the Eastern Mediterranean. The term "Silk Road" appeared relatively recently. In 1877, Baron Ferdinand von Richthofen was one of the first to study the map of the trade route in detail and gave it that name. Around the 1st century AD, the Great Silk Road reached its height. The trade road began from the Chinese city of Luoyang in the east, then it passed through numerous Chinese cities and Central Asia, and ended in Italy, in Rome. The track had three directions and numerous branches. The main directions were the North, Central and South roads.

The northern road passed through the Tien Shan mountains along the Tarim River and turned into the Fergana Valley and then between the Central Asian interfluves went into the lower reaches of the Volga to the Greek colonies. On the way, the caravans stopped in cities or in the most picturesque oasis places to relax and sell their goods. So, new cities appeared, and the old ones grew and became even larger. Trade and craft cities flourished on the territory of Uzbekistan: Andijan, Kokand, Bukhara, Shakhrisabz, Samarkand, Khiva.

The southern road passed through the regions of the modern territories of India, Afghanistan and Iran. The central road ran through Persia and the Mediterranean Sea.The Silk Road route became known all over the world, and soon not only caravan men, but also legendary travelers and conquerors began to pass along it. For example, the Italian traveler and merchant Marco Polo, after his journey along the route of the Great Silk Road, created the work "The Book of the World's Diversity." Also, the world-famous conqueror Genghis Khan passed along the roads of the Silk Road.

The difficult path, which took many years, did not frighten the brave travelers and merchants. On their way, warlike nomads, waterless deserts and harsh mountains could be encountered. Often the direction of the right road could be recognized by the "bones of people and animals." But thanks to this track, the world has changed in a modern way, and we see it now just like that. Great monument cities with their historical and architectural buildings have become living legends as a reminder from the past.