The Silk Road

Essential Questions

What was the silk road and where did it reach during the Han Dynasty?

What impact did the silk road have on the world?

The Silk Road

During the time of the Han Dynasty, only the Chinese knew how to make silk. It was much desired as a luxury fabric by both the Chinese and people outside of China. Chinese silk was important in opening trading routes to the west.

Overland trade routes were called Silk Roads Silk Roads because traders carried silk and other goods on caravan trails. The trails stretched westward from China through central Asia to Mesopotamia and Europe. Because these trails stretched across two continents, Europe and Asia, they were called trans-Eurasian trans-Eurasian. China was part of a huge global trade network.

By 100 B.C., the Silk Roads were well established. Goods leaving China included silk, paper, and pottery. Exchange goods coming from the west included sesame seeds and oil, metals, and precious stones. One trade item the Chinese especially valued was Central Asian horses.

Trade goods were not the only things that moved on the Silk Roads. Ideas and cultural customs moved on the Silk Roads, too. This spread of ideas and customs is called cultural diffusion cultural diffusion. For example, such things as Central Asian military methods, Buddhism, and western cultural styles reached China. In turn, Chinese art, silks, and pottery influenced the cultures to the west.

Activity 1: Mini Q: The Silk Road: Recording the Journey

Mini Q-The Silk Road_ Recording the Journey.pdf

Activity 2: What were the effects of the silk road on the ancient world?

Using the information from this lesson, answer the questions in a thinking map. Complete this assignment digitally or on paper. It will be collected in your portfolio.

Discussion Questions

  • What goods moved along the Silk Road? What country did they come from and go to?

  • What ideas moved along the Silk Road? What country did they come from and go to?

  • What is the importance of the Silk Road?

Activity 3: Outline

Use the information from the DBQ to complete an outline a personal journey of the Silk Road

Essay Outline

Extension Activities