Myth of the Silk Road
13 September 2014
posted by Salman Rashid @ 12:00 AM,
- At September 13, 2014 at 9:26 AM, Muhammad Imran Saeed said...
As I suspected in Part I, it comes from a 'Derwesh' (verified from the picture in this part). Indightful and referencing it is, loved it. Those beautiful names do induce a heartache, I might be exploring one day, who knows.
- At September 13, 2014 at 11:39 AM, Amardeep Singh said...
Salman Ji, what is your view.... Did Nubra Valley (now in India) falls on a Silk route or any other trade route from China. I ask because we find Bactrian camels (not native of the sub-continent) in this valley. Please refer my piece here. I would like to hear your views on this region being on the trade route as is reflected by the presence of these mongolian camels. http://amardeepphotography.com/humps-of-nubra/
- At September 13, 2014 at 2:26 PM, Mubasher Pasha said...
Of course you'll find venomous snakes and critters traveling along the 'Silk Route'. Don't let that hinder the good work as your knowledge drips down to many thirsty travelers.
- At September 13, 2014 at 6:10 PM, Salman Rashid said...
Thank you for the interest, gentlemen.
Amardeep, the Nubra Valley was the way you came down the Karakoram Pass after coming through Yarkand, Kokyar, Ak Masjid, Shahidulla etc. The young man (mentioned above) who saw the silk bales in Leh was at the lower end of this route. The camels come from the Turkestan side.
- At September 13, 2014 at 7:44 PM, Amardeep Singh said...
Salman Ji, So would it be right to say that this Silk route existed into India from China, via Yarkand, Kokyar, Ak Masjid, Shahidulla into Nubra and thereafter to Leh and Kashmir. Though I understand this is not the same route currently being popularized as Silh route due to Karakoram highway.
- At September 14, 2014 at 3:25 AM, said...
I am an avid reader of your marvellous blog and is indeed a pleasure to read your posts. Great people like you and some others like the owner of blog Danstagoh have kept alive our heritage like no one else.
Before I comment, may I humbly submit that my knowledge is certainly not comparable to yours on the subject and I may be at odds with reality. What I have read is that there were mainly three routes that were followed and that these were included within the folds of the famous Silk Road.
There were three main Silk Roads which split and followed a Northern, Middle and Southern route. Originating in Chang’an, the ancient capital of China, it went along the northern Tien-Shan to Dunhua, the city near the Great Wall of China. There the single road split bordering the Taklamakan desert from the north and the south. The northern way went through Turfan to the Ili river valley. The Middle road (the so-called Southern way) led from Zhang Qian to the southern coast of Lake Issyk Kul- via Khotan and Yarkand, and reached Bactria (northern Afghanistan). There the Southern route split in two other roads: one partially followed River Indus to Pakistan, the other to the West and Merv where it merged with the Northern route. Further it passed via Nisa, the capital Parthia, Iran, Mesopotamia, Bagdad, went to Damascus and reached the Mediterranean.
And finally, the third, the most difficult was called the Northern or the Steppe route. Having crossed the Tien Shan a part of caravans went via Fergana valley and Tashkent oasis to Samarkand, Bukhara, Khoresm and reached the coast of the Caspian Sea. A part of caravans from Samarkand headed to Bactria and after crossing the Kashkadarya valley led to Termez. In addition to the three main roads/routes, there were also other roads by means of which all those three lines were interconnected. And last but not the least, the sea lanes of silk trade.
Also if I may, let me hasten to mention here that silk was discovered at two Indus Valley sites more than 800 years earlier than it was probably used in China. A study conducted in 2009 indicated through a microscopic analysis of archaeological thread fragments found inside copper-alloy ornaments from Harappa and steatite beads from Chanhu-daro, to have yielded silk fibres, dating to circa 2450–2000 BC. This study offers the earliest evidence in the world for any silk outside of China, and is roughly contemporaneous with the earliest Chinese evidence for silk. This important new finding brings into question the traditional historical notion of sericulture as being an exclusively Chinese invention.
Again Sir, let me state without any hesitation that you are doing a great favour to this nation by reminding us all of our rich heritage and traditions which has almost been forgotten by those our helmsmen.
- At September 14, 2014 at 11:53 AM, Nayyar Julian said...
Came to read this after long absence. Wonderful as always. Keep it up sir.
Links to this post: