The Silk Road
The Silk Road is comprised of the ancient routes that transported goods, spices, and culture between Europe and Asia. These routes were most famously explored by Marco Polo in the 13th and 14th centuries. It began when China decided to bring silk to the Middle East and Europe. Before the Silk Road, silk was a luxury only found in China, which closely guarded the secrets of its making. Some brilliant and fascinating information on the Silk Road can be found on the History Channel's webpage, which begins:
"The Silk Road was a network of trade routes connecting China and the Far East with the Middle East and Europe. Established when the Han Dynasty in China officially opened trade with the West in 130 B.C., the Silk Road routes remained in use until 1453 A.D., when the Ottoman Empire boycotted trade with China and closed them. Although it’s been nearly 600 years since the Silk Road has been used for international trade, the routes had a lasting impact on commerce, culture and history that resonates even today."