From precious stones to spices, from new religions to technological innovations, the exchange of goods and ideas along the ancient trading routes of the Silk Roads has played a crucial role in the development of civilizations across Europe and Asia.
This beautiful illustrated overview, the first and most ambitious of its kind, places landscapes at the heart of 1,500 years of Eurasian history. With contributions from over 80 leading experts from around the world, each chapter explores the history of trade and cultures along the Silk Roads in the context of a particular terrain – steppe, mountains, deserts, rivers and seas – to reveal how integral the landscapes of the Silk Roads have been in defining the resources, travel and communities of those who lived and traded along these routes.
Gloriously illustrated with detailed maps, stunning photography of the landscapes of Central Asia and 100 iconic treasures, including archaeological artefacts and ancient ruins, this ground-breaking book honours the legacy of richly diverse cultures that advanced and flourished not in spite of their differences, but because of them.
'This beautiful publication honours the astonishing diversity in the way cultures advance and flourish not in spite of their differences, but because of them'
'The many magnificent illustrations make one long to go travelling'
Spectator, Martin Gayford’s Books of the Year
'Stunning maps and artifacts combine with evocative landscapes as well?as troubling tales of plunder, serving as a timely reminder of the rich rewards of meaningful communication and candid cultural exchange within and between the continents'
'A book to experience rather than read … beautiful, fascinating … simultaneously erudite and accessible'
Asian Review of Books