Skip to comments.Archaeological finds reveal prehistoric civilization along Silk Road
Posted on 07/27/2013 6:14:12 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
Archaeologists have unearthed relics that suggest prehistoric humans lived along the Silk Road long before it was created about 2,000 years ago as a pivotal Eurasian trade network.
An excavation project that started in 2010 on ruins in northwest China's Gansu Province has yielded evidence that people who lived on the west bank of the Heihe River 4,100 to 3,600 years ago were able to grow crops and smelt copper, the researchers said.
The site is believed to date back to the Han Dynasty (202 BC - AD 220).
Over the past three years, archaeologists have discovered a variety of copper items, as well as equipment used to smelt metal, said Chen Guoke, a researcher with the Gansu Provincial Institute of Archaeology...
Chen added that a rare copper-smelting mill was also found in the ruins...
The researchers also discovered carbonized barley and wheat seeds, as well as stone hoes and knives used for farming, said Zhang, adding that some adobe houses were also found this year.
The finds indicate that east-west exchanges started prior to the Han Dynasty, as adobe architecture, barley and wheat originated in central and west Asia, according to Zhang...
From 2003 to 2005, archaeologists excavated the Xihetan ruins in Gansu's city of Jiuquan...
Footprints of the livestock and their skeletons were also found at the site.
In 2005, researchers from China and Japan completed a three-year excavation project at the Mozuizi ruins in Gansu's city of Wuwei, finding traces of a primitive tribe that lived about 4,500 years ago.
(Excerpt) Read more at globaltimes.cn ...
It’s a good thing Marco Polo wrote all about this. /s
The route was lucrative, and fought over, wound up ruled by a succession of different conquerors who came and went, and all the time it was open, but the costs varied based on how many payoffs and to whom they had to be paid.
As a trade route, it was open for lapis lazuli, Indus Valley beadwork, obsidian, and a variety of other items going on back into prehistoric times. Chinese Silk wasn’t available until about 500 BC.
we’ve got some topics about that. :’)
Frequently it was closed because the costs exceeded the value of the items transported.
Nomadic tribes are not always renowned for understanding the long-term financial benefits of imposing “taxes” instead of just killing the traders and taking ALL their stuff.
You have posted many articles about the Urumchi mummies and related discoveries that emphasize that the Silk Route grew up along an East - West melding of cultures. The Aryians moved into India from northern Persia as well. A lot more to learn about the lands along the Route.
I can also recall some speculation that China’s remarkable bronze culture came from along the Silk Road which would make the copper smelting at this site more important. Finally, the introduction of the horse and chariot warriors from Central Asia comes to mind from the time periods represented in these ruins.
Thanks JS, I think blam posted the Urumchi mummy topics, or at least most of ‘em. :’)
I’ve read where some of the more isolated places places along the silk road today are littered with trash from 1000-2000 years ago.
“But if not for Ghengis and his progeny, the black death would never have decimated Europe.”
I’d like to hear more about that.
Isn’t this article belaboring the obvious? Of course there were sites where communities grew up and flourished and were later connected by what is called the ‘Silk Road.’
After all, that’s what roads are for. They are pathways and short cuts between towns and cities for people who want to travel from one civilized area to another.
You simply don’t have archeological ‘finds’ of roads that lead nowhere or are between two meaningless geological points.
What’s next? An grant-holding archeologist finding amazing evidence that prehistoric towns and cities occurred at sites where water is found or where shallow water made fording a stream feasible?.
Sometimes the intellectual quality of the logic of scholars is absolutely breathtaking.
There is a good book on the subject, “Ghengis Khan and the Making of the Modern World” by Jack Weatherford. The monguls swept all the way to Europe which made the way safe for trade, resulting in postal delivery and modern banking. Unfortunately it also resulted in the transport of fleas from China that carried the black plague. I guess you’ve gotta take the bad with the good.
So the plague swept from east to west. I guess the first Euro cities hit would be those on the Mediterranean and possibly Moscow?
The Plague arrived by ship, stowed away on rats who spread it in Constantinople; it came from India — where it persists today — with which there was indirect trade via the monsoon winds and muzzie ships. There’s evidence that the infamous outbreaks during the Middle Ages were by no means the first ones in Europe, and they probably arrived the same way — during the so-called Dark Ages the already-ancient trade with India continued, and the Byzantine merchants traded all over the former Roman Empire, including Britain and into the Baltic.
Spent the last hour and half watching his video of two guys from Queens who retraced Marco Polo’s route in the early 90’s.
This thread has been a great way to spend a Saturday morning.
Oops, meant to say Sunday morning.