It would be difficult to overstate the significance of the eponymous Silk Road in the transmission of commodities, people and ideas in the first millennium. Yet although the overland trade route was established during the Han Dynasty (206 BCE-220 CE), it is not widely known that silk was actually transported beyond Chinese borders long beÂforehand. As archaeologists know, the trade routes of the historical period are not infreÂquently based on prehistoric trade routes, reconstructed by sourcing materials excavated from dated archaeological sites. Because textiles in general, particularly silks, do not genÂerally survive in the archaeological record, by necessity, reconstructions are usually based on durable materials like pottery. Chinese archaeologists, such as Han Jianye .f+}t 1t-, recently demonstrated this by identifying a series of inter-connected prehistoric trade routes called the Painted Pottery Road linking China to the West, thereby establishing interÂregional interaction along the Silk Road millennia earlier than the historical period. 1 Though the concept of a prehistoric trade route linking the East and West was initially proposed almost a century ago to explain parallels between Yangshao 1tr -ifg pottery from the Yellow River and J\IIediterranean pottery/ the Painted Pottety Road is based on new, earlier archaeological data and is far more extensive.
|Title of host publication
|Beyond the Silk Roads: New Discourses on China's Role in East Asian Maritime History
|Robert J. Antony & Angela Schottenhammer
|Place of Publication
|Otto Harrassowitz Wiesbaden
|Published - 2017