Silk Roads: Peoples, Cultures, Landscapes

Front Cover
Susan Whitfield
University of California Press, 2019 - Art - 480 pages
As world powers realign their cultural outlooks, there is no better time to consider how Eurasia's complex network of ancient trade routes - which spanned high mountain ranges, open river plains and vast deserts across the continent and on to the seas beyond - fostered economic activity and cultural communication. From perfume to spice, from religion to art, the trade and exchange of goods and ideas was crucial to the development of civilizations throughout the region, and the world. This book is the first comprehensive illustrated publication on the Silk Roads. Edited by an established authority on the subject, 'The Silk Roads' situates the ancient routes against the landscapes that defined them, to reveal the raw materials that they produced, the means of travel that were employed to traverse them and the communities that were formed by them. Organized by terrain, from steppe to desert to ocean, each section includes detailed maps, a historical overview, thematic essays and features showcasing iconic art objects, buildings and archaeological discoveries. A wealth of photographs reveal the breathtaking landscapes of Central Asia, mostly unseen by those who haven't travelled the routes. Designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2014, the Silk Road has never been of greater interest or importance than today. This beautiful publication honours the astonishing diversity in the way cultures can advance and flourish not in spite of their differences, but because of them.

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About the author (2019)

The author of numerous books and articles on the Silk Roads and China, including Life Along the Silk Road and Silk, Slaves, and Stupas, Susan Whitfield is a scholar, curator, writer, lecturer, and traveler of the Silk Roads.

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