The expedition of Zhang Qian in 138 BC is considered to be the foundation of the first ‘Silk Road’. On his return to Han China, his most important achievement was to demonstrate the possibility for safe travel far to the west. From these beginnings developed interactions with civilizations across Asia and consequently the exchange of goods, especially of China’s most precious commodity, silk. The Romans, the Parthians and the Kushans all engaged in this trade.
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