Chapter 16

Section 3

The Silk Road

Traders called this route the Silk Road, after the costly silk they bought in China. The Silk Road also became a route for spreading ideas, technology, and religion. Traders carried many other goods on their horses and camels like gold , silver, ivory, jade, wine, spices, amber, linen, porcelain, grapes, perfumes even ostriches and acrobats.

Nomadic Heritage

The expansive grasslands of Central Asia are ideal for nomadic peoples. Nomads are people who have no permanent home. As seasons change, they move from place to place with their animals in search of food, water, and grazing land.

The Great Game

Russian troops were moving southward, and British leaders wanted to stop the advance before the troops could threaten Britain's possession in India. These officers worked to create maps of Central Asia and to win local leaders to their sides. Arthur Conolly one of the British officers executed in Bukhoro called this struggle between the two empires the Great Game.

Petroleum and Prosperity

More hopeful is the potential for oil to bring wealth to Central Asia. Regional leaders see great promise in the oil and gas reserves of the Caspian Sea. Engineers have recently discovered oil fields in Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan.

Language and Religion

People of Central Asia are divided by a number of ethnic and political loyalties, there are unifying forces in the region as well. Islam, which was the brought by Muslim Warriors from Southwest Asia in the 8th and 9th centuries, is one of the strongest. Also, most Central Asians speak languages related to Turkish. Many people speak Russian, one the regions official language.