Silk Roads

Peoples, Cultures, Landscapes

Edited by Susan Whitfield

Published by Thames & Hudson

A landmark publication that celebrates the rich history and culture of Central Asia’s 1,500-year-old trade routes. Published by Thames & Hudson.

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Silk Road

As world powers realign their cultural outlooks, there is no better time to consider how Eurasia’s complex network of ancient trade routes fostered economic activity and cultural communication. Edited by Susan Whitfield, a historian of medieval Central Asia and a former curator at The British Library, and with contributions from over 80 leading experts, this book is the first, and most ambitious, illustrated publication on the Silk Roads. These routes spanned high mountain ranges, open river plains and vast deserts across the continent and on to the seas beyond. From perfume to spice, from religion to art, the trade and exchange of goods and ideas was crucial to the development of civilisations throughout the region, and the world.

‘Stunning maps and artefacts combine with evocative landscapes, as well as troubling tales of plunder, serving as a timely reminder of the rich rewards of meaningful communication and candid cultural exchange within and between the continents.’

  1. Traveller

Silk Roads situates the ancient routes against the landscapes that defined them to reveal the raw materials that they produced, the means of travel that were employed to traverse them and the communities that were formed by them. Organised by terrain, from steppe to desert to ocean, each section includes detailed maps, a historical overview, thematic essays and features showcasing iconic art objects, buildings and archaeological discoveries. A wealth of photographs reveals the breathtaking landscapes of Central Asia, mostly unseen by those who haven’t travelled the routes. Designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2014, the Silk Road has never been of greater interest or importance than today. This beautiful publication honours the astonishing diversity in the way cultures can advance and flourish, not in spite of their differences but because of them.

Shortlisted for the Edward Stanford Travel Writing Awards in the Illustrated Travel Book of the Year category

Production Details

Published by Thames & Hudson
480 pages
650 illustrations
286mm x 225mm