The Silk Road in Ancient China

In ancient China, the Silk Road was an invaluable highway system used to transport valuable trade items and knowledge and ideas throughout Asia. Many valuable goods were shipped off and profit was made from trading with Rome, India, and China. With the Silk Road, valuable goods and ideas spread efficiently; areas were revolutionized and it allowed for cultural diffusion to occur.
Many valuables were exchanged along the Silk Road, not only were items traded, but new ideas as well. One of “the most valuable item of trade was silk, but jade, pearls, coral, glass, fine linen and wool were also brought on the road by merchants” (Cultural Exchange). China received large amounts of goods from the west. They received many fruits and nuts, rare animals, therapeutic materials, spices and jewelry. Chinese porcelains and lacquers were traded into the West as well. In exchange for these items, China introduced many advanced technologies to the west. Silkworm breeding and spinning, papermaking and printing, and gunpowder were new technologies the west has never seen. The silk worms provided the silk to be spun and sold for profit. This was a highly valued item many wanted. Papermaking and printing made communications easier with people. Printing made it easier to type the same message multiple times more efficiently and faster. Gunpowder led to the creation of guns because of its explosiveness when ignited, but it was initially used as fireworks for amusement. In addition to valuable merchandises exchanged, “the Silk Road was more than conduit for trade” (Paludan). It punctured the nomadic barrier in the west, and the gate to the rest of domain. Chinas foreign associates had been with the border people, mostly nomads whose way of life was com...

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...sically cultural melting pots that came to existence because of warmongers on the Silk Road. About half of “the Silk Road was located in Xinjiang, which was a place where the ancient Western and Oriental cultures met and many famous historical people visited such as Marco Polo” (Historical Silk Road). In Xinjiang, many sculptures and grottoes have been found and indicate the integration of Chinese, Indian, and Persian culture converged into crafts.
The Silk Road was one of the most important highways for trade in ancient China. Many used the road and obtained extensive profits from trading alongside the road. Innumerable amounts of ideas and goods have passed through spreading around cultural ideas creating cultural convergence. In conclusion, with the aid of the Silk Road, the Asian nations were able to open the doors to the east and integrate with other nations.
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