Sunday, November 19, 2017

The Silk Road

Written by Sam L.

Today, many people exchange things through mail, texts, and talking on a phone. But things weren’t always that way. For hundreds of years, between about the year 500 and the 1500’s, the Silk Road was the main trading route of Europe, Asia, India, and many other countries and major cities.

Sketch by Finn
Many goods were traded throughout the Silk Road. Some of the main ones being silk, spices, gold, tea, salt, wines and furs, and ceramics.

Sketch by Marra
Sketch by Iliana
Sketch by Taya

Learning about the Silk Road is important because it teaches us about our history and how cultures were connected in the ancient world.

It also taught us about where most of the trade went along in Asia and Europe. Most of the trade routes passed through Constantinople which for most of the time the Silk Road existed was controlled by the Byzantine empire. Constantinople was later conquered by the Ottoman Empire in 1453.

Sketch by Gabi

Going along the Silk Road the entire way would be a very hard and laborious challenge. The Silk Road was mainly made up out of different parts and sections of smaller trade routes that eventually came together and formed the Silk Road.

Sketch by Krish

The way the Silk Road worked is that one merchant or seller would take their product along the Silk Road and drop it off at a city on the Silk Road. Let’s say it was a shipment of silk. The silk could be carried from China to India and the merchant would sell it there. Then another merchant would take that silk and perhaps transfer it to Persia and from there to Arabia. From Arabia to Constantinople, and from Constantinople to cities in Europe.

Sketch by Saoirse

So items didn’t necessarily have to go all the way along the Silk Road with the same merchant. It would connect through a series of different merchants and trading routes.

By learning about the Silk Road, we learned about the history of contact and trade between many different people, including the exchange of ideas, technology, and germs.

As Palmer said, "I have learned many things, including world history, how you make silk, geography, and what countries made which things. The learning goal was to teach us about what life was like and what happened hundreds of years ago." 

Sketch by Abby

In a future blog post, we will explore what happened at Constantinople in the year 1453 and how that affected trade along the Silk Road and led to a "discovery" that changed the history of the whole world...

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