Expeditions to Central Asia and the Discovery of Early Medieval Turkic Manuscripts
During the Middle Ages Central Asia for a long time remained a terra incognita for Europeans. With the discovery of the sea route linking western, chiefly Mediterranean countries with Southern Asia, the Silk Road as the main trade route between East and West became increasingly untravelled. Arab navigators, whose ships were trading all over the Western part of the Indian Ocean, from the Indian coast to the eastern coast of Africa, made the most valuable contribution to opening up the sea routes to India and China. The Silk Road gradually broke up into a number of local roads as far-off countries found Central Asia sinking into oblivion.