From earliest times, materials that were rare or non-existent were imported in Mesopotamia. This exchange of goods was facilitated by the creation of several trade routes; two that ran from Turkey, passing through either Syria or Iran, the latter becoming known as the “Royal Road’. These routes enabled direct contact between different civilisations and exchanges of craft techniques, particularly via the artisans who travelled with the caravans and who came from a range of industries, including pottery-making. Because of this, pottery has been found in Northern China that shows Iraqi-inspired techniques dating back to the 6th century. Eventually there were two main routes linking Northern Asia with the ‘West’. The first was overland via Syria and Turkey, while a ‘sea’ route along the river Euphrates led to other land routes, forming a silk road network that facilitated trade, cultural and religious exchanges.

Related Information

  • Route:
    Land, Maritime
    Dr. Bahnam Abu Al-Souf
    5-6th millennium BC
    Language of article:

    International Seminar for UNESCO Integral Study of the Silk Roads: Roads of Dialogue. 1988, Osaka, Japan.

    Afghanistan, China, India, Islamic Republic of Iran, Iraq, Syrian Arab Republic, Turkey