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Archive for silk road

Mountains of Heaven

By Linda Tancs

The Silk Road is one of the oldest and most significant trade routes to link the East with the West.  Named for the lucrative business of silk trading that lined the route, it formed both economic and cultural bridges for the many civilizations (nomadic and otherwise) formed along its path.  Among the seven countries along the route ancient sites and natural wonders abound.  One of those treasures is the Tian Shan (Mountains of Heaven), a mountain range sporting Victory Peak, the range’s highest peak (at over 24,000 feet) spanning China and northern Kyrgyzstan.  Nomadic life continues in northern Kyrgyzstan, a place of yurts and flocks. The nomadic monuments of inner Tian Shan feature grave and funeral complexes, rock carvings and epigraphs.

Secrets of the Silk Road

By Linda Tancs

The formidable Silk Road was a trading route of ancient Chinese civilization.  The 7000-mile route stretched from China and India to the Middle East and parts of Africa and southern Europe.  Amidst this terrain was the Tarim Basin, the second largest desert in the world.  Located at the crossroads of the Silk Road, artifacts recovered from the area, like mummies and masks, suggest the area was active for thousands of years.  Exhibits showcasing the diverse languages, lifestyles, religions, and cultures of the remote area are on display through 5 June at the Penn Museum, formally known as the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology in Philadelphia.


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