UNITED24 - Make a charitable donation in support of Ukraine!



The Silk Road was an East-West network of interconnecting routes linking Central Asian Kingdoms such as those of Bukhara, Samarkand, Bishkek and Islamabad in the west with major China cities; most notably the Han and Tang dynasty capital, Changan (modern day Xi'an) in the east. The two major arteries of traffic skirted the northern and southern edges of the Tarim basin, which in the west is referred to as the Gobi Desert. Going west from China, Chinese traders would sell to Central Asians, who would deal with Persians, who connected with Syrians, who did commerce with Greeks and Jews, who supplied the Romans.

The greatest volume of goods were traded along the Silk Road during the Tang dynasty (618-907), particularly during the first half of this period. In the year 670 the Tibetan army swept through and captured parts of the Silk-road, which was the richest part of Tang at that time. The Tibetans took over the kingdoms in the Tarim basin including Kucha, Karashar, Kashgar and Khotan - the "Four Garrisons" of the Chinese. Thus Tibet bordered Hue-He (Mongol) and cut off Silk-road completely. The Talas valley in southern Kazakstan and north-west Kyrgyzstan was the scene of a pivotal battle in 751, when the Turks and their Arab and Tibetan alliies drove a large Tang Chinese army out of Central Asia. Tibet controled the Silk Road and the empire extended into India and western China. Years later, after the downfall of the Tibetan Dynasty, Tang recovered the Silk-road.

Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list

Page last modified: 11-07-2011 03:30:00 ZULU