The Silk Roador Silk Route is a modern term referring to a historical network of interlinking trade routes across the Afro-Eurasian landmass that connected East, South, and Western Asia with the Mediterranean and European world, as well as parts of North and East Africa.
The four-member team will cover over 17.000km of road between China and France going through Kazakhstan, the Caspian sea,
Iran, Armenia, Georgia, Greece, Albania, Montenegro, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Slovenia, Italy and Monaco, cumulating a total of 14 countries they will explore.
Much of the journey will follow the trace of the ancient caravans along the Silk Road.
The History of the Silk Road begins in China during the second century B.C when the emperor of the Han dynasty decided to forge military alliances with kingdoms west of his northwestern archenemy the Xiongnu (or Hun) tribes. Thirty years later, General Zhang came back from his trip and enthralled the court with information about the thirty-six commercially vibrant kingdoms west of China’s frontier. It precipited Chinese invasions and the conquest of all lands between China and the Ferghana Valley.
Fifty years later, Roman legions reported seeing wonderfully bright banners made of a marvelous, new textile. Soon a route appeared between Chang’An and the Roman empire along which Asian and European merchants traded gold, gems, perfumes and textiles against jade, silk, bronze and lacquer objects. Named in the 1870′s by the German geographer, Baron von Richthofen, as the “seidenstrasse” or Silk Road, the Silk Road was in reality a wide East-West network of interconnecting routes linking various Central Asian Kingdoms such as those of Bukhara, Samarkand, Bishkek and Islamabad in the west with major China cities : most notably Chang’an (Xian).
The first major step in opening the Silk Road between the East and the West came with the expansion of Alexander the Great's empire into Central Asia. In August 329 BCE, at the mouth of the Fergana Valley in Tajikistan he founded the city of Alexandria Eschate or "Alexandria The Furthest". This later became a major staging point on the northern Silk Route.
The last link of a railway route along the Silk Road was completed in 1990, when the railway systems of China and Kazakhstan connected in Alataw Pass (Alashan Kou).
Silk Road Maps