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The Silk Road, a term first coined in the 19th century, describes the network of overland trade routes connecting China, India, and the Mediterranean through Tibet and Central Asia. Caravans traveling by land across the Silk Roads were the primary mode of exchange between the East and the West from the second century BCE until the regular use of sea routes started in the 15th century CE. High freezing mountains, desolate deserts, and the scarcity of water restricted travelers to a few traversable paths, where difficult terrain was interrupted by occasional oases and towns.

Traveling the Roads

The Silk Road was regularly traveled in both directions. From China, the Silk Road begins at Chang'an, although trade was also conducted with Japan. The Silk Road passes west through ...

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