Northern Silk Road


The Northern Silk Road is an
ancient Ancient history is the aggregate of past eventsWordNet Search – 3.0
from ...

trackway Historic roads (historic trail A trail is usually a path, track or unpaved lane or road. In the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland, path or footpath A footpath (also pedestrian way, walking trail, nature trail) is a type o ...
in northern
China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere ...

originating in the early capital of Xi'an and extending north of the Taklamakan Desert to reach the ancient monarchy, kingdoms of Parthia, Bactria and eventually Persia and Rome. It is the northernmost branch of several Silk Roads providing trade, military movements and cultural exchange between China and the west. The use of this route was expanded pursuant to actions by the Han dynasty in the latter part of the first millennium BC to push back northern tribes and control the safe passage of Chinese troops and merchants.


The route started at Chang'an (today's Xi'an), the capital of the Tang dynasty, which, in the Eastern Han Dynasty, Eastern Han, was moved further east to Luoyang. The route was defined about the 1st Century BCE as Emperor Wu of Han, Han Wudi put an end to harassment by nomadic tribes. The route travels northwest through the Chinese province of Gansu from Shaanxi Province, and splits into three further routes, two of them following the mountain ranges to the north and south of the Taklimakan Desert to rejoin at Kashgar; and the other going north of the Tian Shan mountains through Turpan, Talgar and Almaty (in what is now southeast Kazakhstan). The routes split west of Kashgar with one branch heading down the Alay Valley towards Termez and Balkh, while the other traveled through Kokand in the Fergana Valley, and then west across the Karakum Desert towards Merv, joining the southern route briefly. One of the branch routes turned northwest to the north of the Aral Sea, Aral and Caspian Sea, Caspian seas and then on to the Black Sea.

See also

*Hexi Corridor *Kashgar *Dunhuang



External links

Pictures from the Northern Silk Road
History of transport in China Sites along the Silk Road