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.