The Silk Roads continue to capture the imagination of the public, and, in 2014, a section of the land routes was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Yet there was no single Silk Road. Instead, a complex network of trade routes spanned Afro-Eurasia's mountains, plains, deserts, and seas. From silk to spices, religion to dance, traffic in goods and ideas was crucial to the development of civilizations through rich cultural interactions and economic activity. Centered around the dramatic landscapes of the Silk Roads, this beautiful volume honors the great diversity of medieval Afro-Eurasian cultures. Each section--from steppe to desert to ocean--includes maps, a historical and archaeological overview and thematic essays by leading scholars worldwide, as well as sidebars showcasing objects that exemplify the art, archaeology and architecture of the Silk Roads.
From the front Cover Praise for Susan Whitfield's Life Along the Silk Road: The cast reads like something out of The Canterbury Tales . Brings to life the history and also the great variety of people, languages, religions, interests, and behaviors along the most remarkable of migratory routes. -- Sunday Times (UK) A trailblazer, vividly recreating the life and times of this great cultural highway. -- The Scotsman Enlightening. Whitfield's skillfully crafted tales take readers on a journey back to the heyday of the Silk Road and enable them to relive its people's unusual existence. -- Bloomsbury Review