|Publisher||Thames & Hudson|
|Publication Date||April 1, 2003|
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The Silk Road evokes images of heavily laden caravans crossing endless deserts, steppes, and mountain ranges to reach the markets of wealthy oasis towns. From the second century B.C., this network of merchants' routes, well over 4,000 miles long, linked China and the Roman Empire. It served the trade of luxury goods, notably silk, and stimulated the spread of religion, culture, and art. The republic of Uzbekistan, with its ancient urban cultural centers of Bukhara, Chiwa, and Samarkand, is the heartland of the Silk Road. The evolving history of the region is clearly explained here in the context of its complex geography, together with analyses of the architecture, the art of the book, Islamic arts and crafts, and the rich variety of textiles of the region. Central Asia's position at the heart of the Eurasian landmass naturally attracted a long succession of conquerors, traders, envoys, and missionaries. People of many different religions, languages, and cultures met, and between the nomads of the steppes and the settled population of the cities there was a regular exchange of goods and ideas. The cultural history of the region is illustrated with pictures of archaeological finds and ethnographical objects from European and Uzbek museums and private collections, many published for the first time. 712 illustrations, 437 in color.
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