Bukhara, Uzbekistan
Bukhara, Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan & The Silk Road

The Silk Road, also known as the Silk Route, was an ancient network of routes that linked the regions of the ancient world in commerce and trade. Formally established in 130 BCE, it was not only central to economic prosperity, but it also promoted the cultural, political, and religious exchanges and interactions between the Far East, the Middle East, East Africa, and Southern Europe up until the 18th century.

Goods traded from West to East along this route included: horses, dogs, honey, fruits, textiles, glassware, weapons, camels, and riding tack, while goods traded East to West included: silk, tea, dyes, chinaware, spices, rice, ivory, paper, and gunpowder. Customs and cultural knowledge such as the exchange of languages (for practical use among foreign traders) and knowledge about science, art, literature and various technologies were also transmitted via this incredible route.

A fascinating city along the Silk Road is the city of Bukhara in modern-day Uzbekistan. Bukhara has served as a center for trade, academic pursuit, culture, and religion for over 2,000 years and, in fact, the historical city center has been deemed a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It has been a hub for traders and travelers alike as it lies on the crossroads between the Kyzyl Kum desert and the Kara Kum desert, and provided the Road with lamb fleeces, silk, cotton, and a myriad of other textiles. From an archaeological perspective, the city offers such sites as the beautiful 8th-century Poi Kalan, an Islamic religious complex (known for its bright blue shades and its Kalan minaret), and the Samani Mausoleum with its folkloric healing well of Chashma Ayub. These sites provide insights into the cultural and religious exchanging that used to take place in this important trade city as well as the cultural interactions that still remain as a result of the passage of the Silk Road.

Archaeological tours is offering a journey to this legendary city as well as to other sites along the Silk Road in Eurasia. Why not join us and see it all for yourself?

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Uzbekistan & The Silk Road was published on August 13 2019