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HIS 102Y1 - Oct 3rd 2013.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
Carol Chin

HIS 102Y1 October 3 , 2013 Empire and Peoples along the Silk Roads I. Introduction: The Meaning(s) of the Silk Road(s) II. Geography and the Silk Roads III. Empires—and the Peoples In Between IV. Conclusion: Crossroad and Cultures on the Silk Roads I. Introduction: The Meaning(s) of the Silk Road(s) 200 BCE – 14 century Name came from 19 century Series of routes, best way to cross difficult terrain Wasn’t just silk, a lot of precious goods travelled that way II. Geography and the Silk Roads Went from one end to the other Taklamakan desert had very little rain, very few sandstorms, has less oases than the Gobi desert, high temperatures in the summer, cold in the winter Turfan Basin, found a path around it Himalayan mountains, very few passes Northern mountains and mules, Southern camels and desert Gansu, western China, desert, steppe (large plains) and mountains, good for raising horses, herded animals The Xiongnu were based in Gansu, had loess, a kind of soil, topsoil, blows around in the wind, good farmland/grazing land, steppe was good for nomadic cultures Merchants travelled in caravans for protection, caravan trade Oases started out as being caravan stops, then became trading posts, towns, and then cities Kashgar, Samarkand, Dunhuang, became trading town and Buddhist center Caves stored Buddhist manuscripts Bactrian camels, two humps, sturdy, thick legs, long hair, a
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