What Was The Silk Road In China? (Si chou zhi lu)

While the jury is still out on the Empress Leizu silk discovery, archeological evidence seems to support the fact that silk was discovered around 2700BC and that silk and the practice of sericulture are actually native to ancient China.

Years after the discovery of silk, its natural beauty, and the uniqueness of silk, the value, and beauty of silk was noticed by the rest of the world. Thanks to China’s trade activities with her neighbors, the demand for silk in civilizations like Persia, Egypt, as well as the Roman and Greek empires fuelled the formation of the Silk Route, better known as the Silk Road.

The Silk Road was, at one point, one of the longest, very flourishing trade routes worldwide. The creation of this route was fuelled by the strong interest of other countries in China’s silk, and it led to the opening of the Silk Road about 200 years ago. The Silk Road’s existence opened up China to the rest of the world; this had been a challenge previously because of the tough mountains along with the long stretches of deserts that made China inaccessible to the rest of the world. But recognizing the opportunity created by the high demand for silk, the Han government working with an emissary (general) sent to Western China, positive trade relationships with the foreign states. Today, the road stretches over 6,000 kilometers from Eastern China to the Mediterranean Sea.

At the time of the road’s establishment, the road was used primarily for the transportation of silk, which was China’s most valuable export product. Besides silk, the Silk Road also allowed China to exports more of its valuable goods such as paper and tea. In return, China got silver, gold, jewels, horses, and many other valuable. Therefore, there is no doubt that the Silk Road spurred economic growth in China. For many years that followed, the Silk Road continued to play a significant role in the development of several ancient societies, and its use only reduced upon the establishment of the sea trade route in the Middle Ages. By the Middle Ages, most other countries had learned silk production.

History of Silk Road  

The Silk Road was established in the 2nd Century BC, and its use peaked until the end of the 14th Century AD. It was an iconic trade route originating from today’s Xi’an East of China, ending at the Mediterranean Sea, effectively linking the Roman Empire with China.

Who started the Silk Road in China?

The Silk Road was established by the Han Dynasty (government) that ruled between 207BCE and 220 CE.

Why did the Silk Road end?

The Silk Road’s popularity started declining in the Middle Ages, towards the end of the 15th Century. This happened after several geographical discoveries were made between the late 15th Century and early 16th Century.

But the biggest reason for the dwindling popularity of the silk road has to do with the civil war of China.

Why Was The Silk Road So Important To The Ancient Chinese?

The Silk Road is of great significance to China and Ancient Chinese because of the following reasons:

  • The road was the longest established land route that connected some of the most popular civilizations in existence at the time.
  • It led to the big four invasions of the Arabs, Greek, Huns, and Mongols, all invading China, changing the world.
  • The Silk Road was significant in wealth generation and economic development.  
  • It introduced new technologies to the East.
  • The Silk Road led to the spread of Western Religions and cultures.
  • Most importantly, the WWII Silk Road saved China during the war.
  • Today, the Silk Road is a big tourist attraction site.


1.what was the silk road used for in ancient china.Retrieved from. travelchinaguide.com

2.Who started the Silk Road in China?Retrieved from.wikipedia.org

3.Why did the Silk Road end?Retrieved from.advantour.com

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