The Silk Road was a series of trade routes linking the cultures and communities of east Asia, India, the Mediterranean basin, and eastern Africa. The Silk Road was established during China's Han Dynasty, which began in 206 BCE. It only began to diminish during the European Middle Ages.

Map by Charles W. Berry, National Geographic

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Silk Road Threads Through History
Silk Road Threads Through History Article

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National Geographic Archaeology Fellow Fredrik Hiebert explains the significance of Afghanistan to the ancient Silk Road—and how the country might develop a new Silk Road in the future.