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The Silk Road was an ancient network of trade routes, formally established during the Han Dynasty of China, which linked the regions of the ancient world in commerce between 130 BCE-1453 CE. As the Silk Road was not a single thoroughfare from east to west, the term 'Silk Routes’ has become increasingly favored by historians, though 'Silk Road’ is the more common and recognized name.

The network was used regularly from 130 BCE, when the Han officially opened trade with the west, to 1453 CE, when the Ottoman Empire boycotted trade with the west and closed the routes.  The Silk Road - from its opening to its closure - had so great an impact on the development of world civilization that it is difficult to imagine the modern world without it. 


Mark, Joshua J. 2018, 'Silk road', Ancient History Encyclopedia