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    The Silk Road: A New History (Hardback) By (author) Valerie Hansen

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    DescriptionThe Silk Road is as iconic in world history as the Colossus of Rhodes or the Suez Canal. But what was it, exactly? It conjures a hazy image of a caravan of camels laden with silk on a dusty desert track, reaching from China to Rome. The reality was different, and far more interesting, as revealed in this new history. In The Silk Road, Valerie Hansen describes the remarkable archaeological finds that revolutionize our understanding of these trade routes. For millennia, key records remained hidden-often deliberately buried by bureaucrats for safe keeping. But the sands of the Taklamakan Desert have revealed fascinating material, sometimes preserved by illiterate locals who recycled official documents to make insoles for shoes or garments for the dead. Hansen explores seven oases along the road, from northwest China to Samarkand, where merchants, envoys, pilgrims, and travelers mixed in cosmopolitan communities, tolerant of religions from Buddhism to Zoroastrianism. Hansen notes that there was no single, continuous road, but a chain of markets that traded between east and west. China and the Roman Empire had very little direct trade. China's main partners were the peoples of modern-day Iran, whose tombs in China reveal much about their Zoroastrian beliefs. Hansen writes that silk was not the most important good on the road; paper, invented in China before Julius Caesar was born, had a bigger impact in Europe, while metals, spices, and glass were just as important as silk. Perhaps most significant of all was the road's transmission of ideas, technologies, and artistic motifs. The Silk Road is a fascinating story of archeological discovery, cultural transmission, and the intricate chains across Central Asia and Southeast Asia.

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  • Full bibliographic data for The Silk Road

    The Silk Road
    A New History
    Authors and contributors
    By (author) Valerie Hansen
    Physical properties
    Format: Hardback
    Number of pages: 320
    Width: 155 mm
    Height: 236 mm
    Thickness: 30 mm
    Weight: 635 g
    ISBN 13: 9780195159318
    ISBN 10: 0195159314

    B&T Book Type: NF
    Nielsen BookScan Product Class 3: T5.1
    BIC E4L: HIS
    BIC subject category V2: HBLC, HBLA
    B&T Modifier: Region of Publication: 01
    BIC subject category V2: HBJF
    BIC geographical qualifier V2: 1FC
    B&T Modifier: Academic Level: 05
    B&T Modifier: Subject Development: 43
    BISAC V2.8: HIS003000
    Ingram Subject Code: HP
    B&T General Subject: 431
    LC subject heading:
    BIC geographical qualifier V2: 1FP
    B&T Modifier: Geographic Designator: 46
    B&T Merchandise Category: UP
    Warengruppen-Systematik des deutschen Buchhandels: 15530
    LC subject heading: ,
    B&T Approval Code: A15400300
    LC subject heading: ,
    BIC subject category V2: 1FP, 1FC
    DC22: 950.1
    LC subject heading:
    BISAC region code:
    LC subject heading:
    LC classification: DS33.1 .H36 2012
    LC subject heading:
    DC23: 958.01
    Thema V1.0: NHF, NHC
    Edition statement
    New ed.
    Illustrations note
    34 b/w & 16 color illus.
    Oxford University Press Inc
    Imprint name
    Oxford University Press Inc
    Publication date
    11 October 2012
    Publication City/Country
    New York
    Author Information
    Valerie Hansen is Professor of History at Yale University. Her books include The Open Empire: A History of China to 1600, Negotiating Daily Life in Traditional China: How Ordinary People Used Contracts, 600-1400, and Changing Gods in Medieval China, 1127-1276, and co-author of Voyages in World History.
    Review quote
    [a] ground-breaking new history. The Scotsman a fascinating story of archeological discovery, cultural transmission, and the intricate chains across Central Asia and Southeast Asia. Desmond Biddulph, The Middle Way
    Table of contents
    Acknowledgments ; Introduction ; 1. At the Crossroads of Central Asia: The Kingdom of Kroraina ; 2. Gateway to the Languages of the Silk Road: Kucha and the Kizil Caves ; 3. Midway Between China and Iran: Turfan ; 4. Homeland of the Sogdians, the Silk Road Traders: Samarkand and Sogdiana ; 5. The Cosmopolitan Terminus of the Silk Road: Historic Chang'an, Modern-day Xi'an ; 6. The Time Capsule of Silk Road History: The Dunhuang Caves ; 7. Entryway into Xinjiang for Buddhism and Islam: Khotan ; Conclusion: The History of the Overland Routes through Central Asia ; Notes ; Index