Marco Polo & The Silk Road

The Silk Road was one of the most important trade
routes in history
 It connected Eastern Asia to the rest of Eurasia.
 Many ideas, goods, and inventions were diffused
along the Silk Road
The Silk Road was not one single road – there was
several different branches that developed, passing
through different oasis settlements
The trade route starts in Chang’an in China and ends in
different branches in different areas of Europe
It was comprised of both land and sea routes
Eastern Eurasia is cut off from Western Eurasia thanks to many
geographical boundaries
West of China: Taklimakan Desert (Aka: Land of Death)
Northeast of Taklimakan: Gobi Desert
South of Taklimakan: Himalayas, Karakorum, and Kunlun
North and West of Taklimakan: Taishan and Pamir ranges
Trade Along the Silk Road
• Silk, porcelain, gunpowder, and paper were exports of
• Buddhism traveled on the Silk Road and became prominent
in China and other places.
• Wool, ivory, slaves, and spices were imported to China.
MARCO POLO(1254-1324)
A venetian merchant who traveled on the Silk Road
starting in 1271
 His journey lasted 24 years
 He brought ivory, jade, jewels, porcelain, and silk from
 His journey was recorded by Rustichello da Pisa in the
book, The Travels of Marco Polo
• Sailed from Venice across the Mediterranean Sea to Acre (Israel)
• From Acre he traveled to Hormuz (Iran)
• From Hormuz he turned back because of the dangerous journey
and untrustworthy boats
• Went north to travel along the land routes of the Silk Road
• Went pass the Pamir Mountains to Kashgar and two deserts to
go to Shangdu to meet the current ruler of China, Kublai Khan.
Marco Polo and The Mongols
Marco Polo served on the Khan's court and was sent on special
missions in China, Burma, and India
During the Yuan Dynasty, Mongols secured trade routes and had
elaborate courier networks.
They maintained order for traveling merchants so it was easy
and safe for Marco Polo to travel.
 Kublai Khan giving
Marco Polo a Piaza (a gold
permit to travel).
The height of the Silk Road
was during the Tang dynasty,
when China had relative
internal stability.
The Mongolian empires gave
way to increased interaction
between cultures of different
regions via the Silk Road.
 Marco Polo traveled on
the Silk Road starting in
 The Silk Road declined
after the fall of the
Mongolian Empires
Question 1
Which of these cities was not involved in the
Silk Road?
A. Constantinople
B. Chang’an
C. Baghdad
D. Samarkand
E. Athens
Question 2
What were the imports and exports of China?
Spices, gold, elephants
Jade, gunpowder
Slaves, spices, ivory
Silk, paper, porcelain
Pearl, gold, ivory, fur
Tea, potteries, silk
Precious metals, spices
Vases, jewelry
Horses, camels, gold
Warriors, instruments
Question 3
Where did the Silk Road begin and end
A. Mediterranean Sea to China
B. Chang’ an to Europe
C. China to India
D. Chang’an to Constantinople
E. China to Africa
Question 4
Where did Marco Polo’s journey begin
and end?
A. Arabia to Malaysia
B. Venice to China
C. Italy to Russia
D. India to Mongolia
E. Constantinople to Samarkand
Question 5
Why was the Silk Road significant?
A. It facilitated trade among Europe and
B. Everyone along the Silk Road wove
C. People had imported and exported
valuables that they don’t have.
D. People liked other countries’ stuff.
E. Everybody traded globally.
The Silk Road –
The Ancient Airplane
Connecting different places, people, culture,
and ideas

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