discuss the importance of silk road (historical, economic, and/or cultural) from today’s perspective of globalization vs. localization. Silk Road has been the main source of trade and contact between the two continents and the history of relationships between the various kingdoms of Europe and Asia can be traced through the history of trade by Silk Road (Boulnois, 2004).
The Silk Road is a network of inter-connected roads and trade routes across Asia, Europe and some parts of Africa as well. The land routes which made up the original Silk road constructed by the Chinese was later incremented by various sea routes as well extending from the coasts of India, China and Southeast Asia to the Red Sea and various Northeastern coasts of Africa. The routes are given the name Silk Road because of the extensive trade of Silk carried out through these roads from China to all parts of the known world at that time. With the inclusion of various sea routes in the Silk Road, the trade across the land routes declined during the middle ages, however in the trade through the land routes has been revived in the modern times and most of the modern routes and roads are constructed almost exactly on the ancient routes. the Karakoram Highway between Pakistan and China in the Karakoram mountain range constructed in the 1980’s and 90’s is the highest paved road in the world and follows the exact route of the ancient Silk Road. Silk Road was an important agent of cultural and social transformation in ancient days and still serves as a mean of cultural, economic and social exchange in the modern age (Hedin, 2009).
Various ancient civilizations in India, China, Egypt, Persia, Rome and Byzantine flourished and developed themselves through the economic progress they received from the trade across the Silk Road. The world today as shaped up by the developments in the ancient civilizations and the historical movements in the various regions of the world owes much of the progress it has achieved to the Silk Road.