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Mrs. Ruland's Silk Road Page

Visit the Wonders of the Silk Road


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The 2002 Smithsonian Folklife Festival featured the Silk Road. This page will bring some of that information to those unable to attend the Festival and also bring some additional information to those whose interest was peaked.

Join me on a Teacher's Journey on the Silk Road!

I took over 600 pictures at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival celebrating the Silk Road. My intent is to create a virtual tour of the Silk Road in much the same way that the festival took participants from China to Venice all in the space of the National Mall in Washington DC.

The Silk Road on the Internet

Festival Sponsors and Their Suggested Sites

The Silk Road: Connecting Cultures, Creating Trust — This is the full text of the program guide created for the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in 2002 which showcased the Silk Road. Wonderful articles on a variety of topics with the focus on cultural difusion and influence.
Silk Road Project — This is the home page for the Silk Road Project. This project is the brainchild of cellist Yo-Yo Ma and the page contains concert information for the Silk Road Ensemble as well as wonderful information about the Silk Road including educational resources.
The Silk Road Project: 36th Annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival — This is the information site for the Festival. It contains information about the major geographic divisions: Venice, Istanbul, Samarkand, Nomads of Central Asia, Xi'an in China, and Nara in Japan.
AskAsia: A K-12 Resource of the Asia Society — AskAsia is a wonderful resource on anything dealing with Asia. Type in Silk Road for search results that include lesson plans and background essays.
The Golden Silk Road — This site contains information about travel travel along the Silk Road and its history. There are pictures and travel highlights of the Shaanxi, Gansu, Ningxia, Qinghai, and Xinjiang provinces of China.
International Dunhuang Project
Buddhism on the Silk Road — Buddhism became the common feature uniting the people of the Silk Road. This IDP site looks at the Buddhist pilgrims and travelers on the Silk Road and the various forms of Buddhism that developed on the Silk Road.
IDP Newsletter — This page has links to all the issues of the IDP Newsletter, but issue 18 has a very interesting article that addresses the question: "What possible links can there be between Buddhist cave paintings in Dunhuang, China and Christian churches in the county of Devon in the UK, separated by 3000 miles, 500 years, and different cultures and religions? Yet an intriguing design of three rabbits chasing each other in a circle sharing three ears between them is found - in near identical form - in both places."
Silk Road to China, Arts at Dunhuang Grottoes — This site is sponsored by China the Beautiful. It contains maps, classic poetry, sea routes of Zheng He, information on Zen Buddhism as well as the art in the Dunhuang Grottoes.
The Silkroad Foundation — The Silkroad Foundation is a California-based organization designed to promote the study and preservation of cultures and art on Inner Asia and the Silk Road. This site contains information about both the historic and the present day Silk Road.
Monks and Merchants — This Asia Society site is a virtual exhibit of some of the treasures from Northwest China, Gansu and Ningxia from the 4th through 7th century.

History of the Silk Road

Mrs. Ruland's World History AP WWW Resources: 600-1450 Global Trade Systems — This page was created for my students and contains other links about the Silk Road as it relates to the Global Trade System in the Post-Classical period.

Along the Silk Road — A lesson plan
Along the Silk Road - Archaeology — This general article is hosted by Archaeology.About.com
Art of the Silk Road — Wonderful site from the Seatle Art Museum and Silk Road Seatle. Contains sections on Culture, Religion, Trade, and Intercultural Exchange.
Beauty, the Land of China - The Silk Road — Includes restoration and tourism as well as history.
China: Dim Sum: Tracing the Silk Road Mapping Lesson — Geography lesson plan that also contains historical information.
Chinese Silk and the Silk Road — Article written for Chinese Culture.About.com. Contains historical information as well as legend.
Dunhuang — This site examines some of the Buddhist art found in the Mogao cave temples near the town of Dunhuang, at the edge of the Gobi desert in northwest China.
Electronic Passport to the Silk Road — This annotated article by a middle school teacher has basic information.
Eurasia — This is a wonderful site for any map lover, but also holds great information for the mapaphobe. Click on a section of the Silk Road map to get general information about that portion of the route; you can now click on this more detailed map to get some very specific information.
From Silk to Oil: Cross-Cultural Connections Along the Silk Roads — Travel the deserts and mountain passes of Central Asia with From Silk to Oil: Cross-Cultural Connections Along the Silk Road. This book of global studies curriculum, funded by the U.S. Department of Education and produced by China Institute, begins in the second century BCE and ends in the contemporary period.
The Geography of the Silk Road — This article was written for a geography course at Humboldt State College.
Maps: The Silk Road — This map is presented by the Arts of Asia department of the Minneapolis Institute of Art.
The History of Trade and the Silk Road -- Synopsis and resource links for the history and future of the Silk
The Marco Polo Homepage — This site hosted by the history department at Susquehanna University contains information about one of the most famous Europeans to travel the Silk Road.
The Silk Road — This article was published in the December 1993 issue of Multiworld. It contains information on the history of the route as well as the author's recent trip to the area.
The Silk Road — This annotated article contains information on the Silk Road as it related to Ancient Persia.
The Silk Road — This article was written for a geography course at Humboldt State College.
The Silk Road of Ancient China — This travel site contains information about the history of the route.
The Silk Road: The Ancient Way of Trading — This site was designed for an art history class at San Jose State University and contains information about the culture, religion and civilizations found along the route.
The Silk Road and Central Asia on the World Wide Web — This page contains links on the topic.
Silk Road Chronology — This detailed, annotated chronology contains information from 3200 B.C. through the 1900s.
The Silk Road: History — While this site is that of a luxury hotel, it does contain some nice information on the history of the Silk Road.
The Silk Road: Linking Europe and Asia Through Trade — This is a student-created thinkquest.
Silk Road Seattle — Silk Road Seattle is a collaborative public education project using the "Silk Road" theme to explore cultural interaction across Eurasia from the beginning of the Common Era (A. D.) to the Sixteenth Century. Contains historical documents, maps, a virtual art exhibit and other information.
Silk Road Society — Contains a variety of information on the Silk Road including a section on its history. Some of the articles require membership, but it is a free registration..
Traveling the Silk Roads — A special edition of Saudi Aramco World Magazine discussing the history and present of the different parts of the Silk Roads.
WomanAid International Silk Road Program — Current efforts along the Silk Road.
Xi'an and the Silk Road — Xi'an is the Chinese starting point for the Silk Road, and this site looks at its history and its present.

Travel the Silk Road

Across China's Silk Road: Part One — This three part article is about one modern day traveler's experience along this ancient route. There is historical information included about the areas he visits.
Alex Sievers / OASE Photography — This is a stunning collection of photographs taken along one of the Chinese routes.
China - A Trip Along the Silk Road (Part 1) — This is the three part travel journal of a three month trip along the Silk Road
Hostility Put Aside: India and China reopen the Silk Road — July 6, 2006
The Oriental Silk Road — Article by Masha Nordbye for The World and I. Interesting travel journal with historical references. Available for subscribers.
Silk Road: Following Ancient Footsteps — Illustrated article by Pamela Logan, originally published in Asia Magazine. Her home page states, "In 1992 I joined a China Exploration and Research Society project to use radar remote sensing to look for lost cities under the sands of the Taklamakan Desert in northwest China." This is her story of the journey.
The Silk Road and Xinjiang by Roger J. Wendell — This is an illustrated travel journal.
Sketching the Silk Road — Follow two American painters as they trace an ancient trade route to China’s most famous Buddhist artwork grottoes. Armed with only their sketchbooks and their creativity, they are... Sketching the Silk Road.
TWC's Odyssey: Heart Of The Silk Road — Tan Wee Cheng's Travels in the Central Asian Republics of Kazakstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.


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Last updated August 18, 2015

This work by Marcella Ruland is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.