The Chinese “New Silk Road”: The Belt and Road Initiative
The Silk Road was and is a network of trade routes connecting the East and West, and was central to the economic, cultural, political, and religious interactions between these regions from the 2nd century BCE to the 18th century. The Silk Road primarily refers to the land but also sea routes connecting East Asia and Southeast Asia with South Asia, Persia, the Arabian Peninsula, East Africa and. Oct 11, · Silk Road was designed by Ulbricht be a free market, a market whose very existence would be outside the scope of government control, thereby undermining the very fabric of the state. Ulbricht’s ideology was that the users of Silk Road were being enabled with the means to decide for themselves what substances they wanted to put into their.
The Silk Road is arguably the most famous long-distance trade route in the ancient world. This trade route connected Europe in the West with China in the East, and allowed the exchange of goods, technology, and ideas between the two civilizations. Silk, however, was the most celebrated commodity that was transferred along this route, traveling from China westwards. Although merchants could make huge profits if they succeeded in bring their goods to their destination, it was not without risks, how to clean baked on grease from ceramic stove top certain stretches of this route were extremely dangerous.
In spite of its name, the Silk Road was not one single road, but rather, a network of roads that connected the East and the West. It may be remarked that this name was only given quite recently, as it was coined in by the German historian and geographer, Ferdinand von Richthofen. This overland route continued to be used up until ADwhen the Ottoman Empire, which had conquered Constantinople in that year, decided to stop trading with the West, and therefore closed the routes.
Public Domain. Travelers merchants, pilgrims, envoys, etc. After this, they would face the Gobi Desert, arguably the biggest danger of the Silk Road. Whilst this desert can be divided into several different eco-regions, it may be said to consist, generally speaking, mainly of rocky, compact terrain.
It is this feature of the Gobi Desert that made it easier for trade caravans to travel across the desert, as opposed, for example, to the sandy terrain of the neighboring Taklamakan Desert. Like other deserts, the Gobi Desert is arid, and therefore the biggest challenge facing those who choose to traverse it is to obtain enough water for themselves as well as for their camels.
Trade on the Silk Road. These stops allowed travelers to rest, to have food and drink, and to prepare themselves for the next portion of their journey. These places also facilitated the exchange of goods, and even ideas, amongst the travelers who stopped there. In this way, travelers could avoid spending too much time in the desert, which would make them targets for bandits, another danger of the Silk Road.
Sogdian painting showing Sogdian merchants during the medieval period. Once the Gobi Desert is navigated, travelers would continue their journey into Iran, Turkey, and finally Europe. Whilst this part of the journey may be less dangerous than the Gobi Desert, it is not entirely without its perils.
The political situation in each of these areas is vital in what is asics best running shoe the success of the trade endeavors. As an example, when the Ottomans conquered Constantinople in ADthey decided to stop trading with the West, which resulted in a drastic decline in the use of the Silk Road.
Conversely, when the Mongols established their empire, which included China and Central Asia, where the Silk Road passed through, political stability was brought to these regions, which allowed trade along the Silk Road to flourish. Samarkand, by Richard-Karl Karlovitch Zommer.
This was an ancient city on the Silk road positioned between China and the Mediterranean, in modern day Uzbekistan. Like the merchants of the overland Silk Road, those who traveled along this route were also at the mercy of the forces of nature, especially storms that were highly unpredictable.
Moreover, pirates who plied the oceans were also a threat to travelers, just as the desert bandits were for their overland counterparts. Top image: A 14 th century depiction of a camel caravan on the Silk Road. Source: Public Domain. Alitto, G. New World Encyclopedia, Takla Makan Desert. Gobi Desert. About the Silk Road. Silk Road. Although his primary interest is in the ancient civilizations of the Near East, he is also interested in other geographical regions, as well as other time periods Read More.
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Once gunpowder had been invented in China, the Silk Road helped spread it westwards. The first known instances of gunpowder in China are from AD, but there is now evidence of gunpowder being used for military purposes there until AD. Mar 01, · The Silk Road is arguably the most famous long-distance trade route in the ancient world. This trade route connected Europe in the West with China in the East, and allowed the exchange of goods, technology, and ideas between the two civilizations. Jul 26, · The Silk Road is neither an actual road nor a single route. The term instead refers to a network of routes used by traders for more than 1, years, from when the Han dynasty of China opened trade in B.C.E. until C.E., when the Ottoman Empire closed off trade with the West.
Silk has set the standard in luxury fabrics for several millennia. The origins of silk date back to Ancient China. Legend has it that a Chinese princess was sipping tea in her garden when a cocoon fell into her cup, and the hot tea loosened the long strand of silk. Ancient literature, however, attributes the popularization of silk to the Chinese Empress Si-Ling, to around B.
Called the Goddess of the Silkworm, Si-Ling apparently raised silkworms and designed a loom for making silk fabrics. The Chinese used silk fabrics for arts and decorations as well as for clothing. Silk became an integral part of the Chinese economy and an important means of exchange for trading with neighboring countries. Caravans traded the prized silk fabrics along the famed Silk Road into the Near East. By the fourth century B.
The popularity of silk was influenced by Christian prelates who donned the rich fabrics and adorned their altars with them. Gradually the nobility began to have their own clothing fashioned from silk fabrics as well. Initially, the Chinese were highly protective of their secret to making silk. Indeed, the reigning powers decreed death by torture to anyone who divulged the secret of the silk-worm. Eventually, the mystery of the silk-making process was smuggled into neighboring regions, reaching Japan about A.
By the eighth century, Spain began producing silk, and years later Italy became quite successful at making silk, with several towns giving their names to particular types of silk.
The first country to apply scientific techniques to raising silkworms was Japan, which produces some of the world's finest silk fabrics.
Silk is highly valued because it possesses many excellent properties. Not only does it look lustrous and feel luxurious, but it is also lightweight, resilient, and extremely strong—one filament of silk is stronger then a comparable filament of steel!
Although fabric manufacturers have created less costly alternatives to silk, such as nylon and polyester, silk is still in a class by itself. The secret to silk production is the tiny creature known as the silkworm, which is the caterpillar of the silk moth Bombyx mori. It feeds solely on the leaves of mulberry trees. Only one other species of moth, the Antheraea mylitta, also produces silk fiber.
This is a wild creature, and its silk filament is about three times heavier than that of the cultivated silkworm. Its coarser fiber is called tussah. The life cycle of the Bombyx mori begins with eggs laid by the adult moth. The larvae emerge from the eggs and feed on mulberry leaves. In the larval stage, the Bombyx is the caterpillar known as the silkworm. The silkworm spins a protective cocoon around itself so it can safely transform into a The secret to silk production is the tiny creature known as the silk-worm, which is the caterpillar of the silk moth Bombyx mori.
In nature, the chrysalis breaks through the cocoon and emerges as a moth. The moths mate and the female lays to eggs. A few days after emerging from the cocoon, the moths die and the life cycle continues. The cultivation of silkworms for the purpose of producing silk is called sericulture.
Over the centuries, sericulture has been developed and refined to a precise science. Sericulture involves raising healthy eggs through the chrysalis stage when the worm is encased in its silky cocoon.
The chrysalis inside is destroyed before it can break out of the cocoon so that the precious silk filament remains intact. The healthiest moths are selected for breeding, and they are allowed to reach maturity, mate, and produce more eggs.
Generally, one cocoon produces between 1, and 2, feet of silk filament, made essentially of two elements. Other elements include fats, salts, and wax. To make one yard of silk material, about 3, cocoons are used. Not all of the silk filament is usable for reeled silk. The leftover silk may include the brushed ends or broken cocoons. This shorter staple silk may be used for spinning silk in a manner of fabrics like cotton and linen. The quality of spun silk is slightly inferior to reeled silk in that it is a bit weaker and it tends to become fuzzy.
The waste material from the spun silk can also be used for making "waste silk" or "silk noil. Sericulture is an ancient science, and the modern age has not brought great changes to silk manufacture.
Rather, man-made fibers such as polyester, nylon, and acetate have replaced silk in many instances. But many of the qualities of silk cannot be reproduced. For example, silk is stronger than an equivalent strand of steel. Some recent research has focused on the molecular structure of silk as it emerges from the silkworm, in order to better understand how new, stronger artificial fibers might be constructed.
Silk spun by the silkworm starts out as a liquid secretion. The liquid passes through a brief interim state with a semi-ordered molecular structure known as nematic liquid crystal, before it solidifies into a fiber.
Materials scientists have been able to manufacture durable fibers using liquid crystal source material, but only at high temperatures or under extreme pressure. Researcher are continuing to study the silkworm to determine how liquid crystal is transformed into fiber at ordinary temperatures and pressures. Corbman, Bernard P. Textiles: Fiber to Fabric. McGraw-Hill, Deshpande, Chris. Garrett Educational Corporation, Parker, Julie. Rain City Publishing, Scott, Philippa.
The Book of Silk. Ostroff, Jim. Yanxi, Wang. Toggle navigation. Made How Volume 2 Silk Silk. The secret to silk production is the tiny creature known as the silk-worm, which is the caterpillar of the silk moth Bombyx mori.
Periodicals "Chinese Exports of Silk Textiles. Other articles you might like:. Also read article about Silk from Wikipedia. User Contributions: 1. There is no explanation here if tussah silk is stronger or more durable than domesticated silk. Are the domesticated silk worms burned or boiled along with their products? Comment about this article, ask questions, or add new information about this topic: Name:.
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