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The Silk Road: Two Thousand Years in the Heart of Asia

01 Jan 2003-
TL;DR: The Silk Road, the ancient trade route passing through Bokhara to Samarkand in the west and Dunhuang to Xi'an in central China, conjures up exotic pictures of camel trains laden with bales of fine Chinese silk, and spices and perfumes in the great market of Samark and The Silk Road also witnessed the movement of cultural influences and examines the civilizations and ideas that flourished along with vast geographical route.
Abstract: The Silk Road, the ancient trade route passing through Bokhara to Samarkand in the west and Dunhuang to Xi'an in central China, conjures up exotic pictures of camel trains laden with bales of fine Chinese silk, and spices and perfumes in the great market of Samarkand The Silk Road also witnessed the movement of cultural influences and this text examines the civilizations and ideas that flourished along with vast geographical route The 19th century saw a new interest in Central Asia as Russia and Britain vied for power on the frontiers of Afghanistan A new breed of explorer, part archaeologist, part cartographer, part spy, was seen on the Silk Road and some of the ancient cities, long buried in sand-blown dunes, began to give up their secrets Covering more than 2000 years of history, this book presents an overall picture of the history and cultures of the Silk Road It is illustrated throughout with many manuscripts and paintings from the collections of the British Library and other museums worldwide, and contains many previously unpublished photographs by the great explorers Stein, Hedin and Mannerheim
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Book ChapterDOI
31 Jul 2017

181 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The canSNP study indicates that there are 5 different sub-lineages/sub-groups in China out of 12 previously described world-wide can SNP genotypes, and suggests that the A.Br.001/002 sub-groups suggest that these represent older and established clades in China.
Abstract: The global pattern of distribution of 1033 B. anthracis isolates has previously been defined by a set of 12 conserved canonical single nucleotide polymorphisms (canSNP). These studies reinforced the presence of three major lineages and 12 sub-lineages and sub-groups of this anthrax-causing pathogen. Isolates that form the A lineage (unlike the B and C lineages) have become widely dispersed throughout the world and form the basis for the geographical disposition of "modern" anthrax. An archival collection of 191 different B. anthracis isolates from China provides a glimpse into the possible role of Chinese trade and commerce in the spread of certain sub-lineages of this pathogen. Canonical single nucleotide polymorphism (canSNP) and multiple locus VNTR analysis (MLVA) typing has been used to examine this archival collection of isolates. The canSNP study indicates that there are 5 different sub-lineages/sub-groups in China out of 12 previously described world-wide canSNP genotypes. Three of these canSNP genotypes were only found in the western-most province of China, Xinjiang. These genotypes were A.Br.008/009, a sub-group that is spread across most of Europe and Asia; A.Br.Aust 94, a sub-lineage that is present in Europe and India, and A.Br.Vollum, a lineage that is also present in Europe. The remaining two canSNP genotypes are spread across the whole of China and belong to sub-group A.Br.001/002 and the A.Br.Ames sub-lineage, two closely related genotypes. MLVA typing adds resolution to the isolates in each canSNP genotype and diversity indices for the A.Br.008/009 and A.Br.001/002 sub-groups suggest that these represent older and established clades in China. B. anthracis isolates were recovered from three canSNP sub-groups (A.Br.008/009, A.Br.Aust94, and A.Br.Vollum) in the western most portion of the large Chinese province of Xinjiang. The city of Kashi in this province appears to have served as a crossroads for not only trade but the movement of diseases such as anthrax along the ancient "silk road". Phylogenetic inference also suggests that the A.Br.Ames sub-lineage, first identified in the original Ames strain isolated from Jim Hogg County, TX, is descended from the A.Br.001/002 sub-group that has a major presence in most of China. These results suggest a genetic discontinuity between the younger Ames sub-lineage in Texas and the large Western North American sub-lineage spread across central Canada and the Dakotas.

79 citations


Cites background from "The Silk Road: Two Thousand Years i..."

  • ...These findings clearly suggest 4 or 5 separate introductions of B. anthracis into or out of China, with 3 possibly involving the routes defined as the Silk Road....

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  • ...Kashi (also Kashgar, Kaxgar, Kxkr) was a major "oasis" crossroads city along the ancient Silk Road and dates back more than 2,000 years [11]....

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  • ...The previous observation [5] that these three sub-lineages/sub-groups are prominent genotypes in India, Pakistan, Turkey and most of Europe suggest a likely transmission pattern for anthrax along the ancient trade route known as the Silk Road [11] that extended from Europe, the Middle East, portions of Asia and into Xinjiang province and the whole of China, Figure 2....

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  • ...The major diversity in these isolates is concentrated in the western province of Xinjiang and especially the city of Kashi, the hub of the Silk Road around the Taklimakan Desert into and out of China....

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  • ...These results reinforce the idea that this Silk Road region was central to the spread of anthrax between the trans-Eurasian continents....

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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: A more complex scenario of ancestral origins and admixture history in XJU is unveiled than previously reported, which further suggests Bronze Age massive migrations in Eurasia and East-West contacts across the Silk Road.
Abstract: The Uyghur people residing in Xinjiang, a territory located in the far west of China and crossed by the Silk Road, are a key ethnic group for understanding the history of human dispersion in Eurasia. Here we assessed the genetic structure and ancestry of 951 Xinjiang's Uyghurs (XJU) representing 14 geographical subpopulations. We observed a southwest and northeast differentiation within XJU, which was likely shaped jointly by the Tianshan Mountains, which traverses from east to west as a natural barrier, and gene flow from both east and west directions. In XJU, we identified four major ancestral components that were potentially derived from two earlier admixed groups: one from the West, harboring European (25-37%) and South Asian ancestries (12-20%), and the other from the East, with Siberian (15-17%) and East Asian (29-47%) ancestries. By using a newly developed method, MultiWaver, the complex admixture history of XJU was modeled as a two-wave admixture. An ancient wave was dated back to ∼3,750 years ago (ya), which is much earlier than that estimated by previous studies, but fits within the range of dating of mummies that exhibited European features that were discovered in the Tarim basin, which is situated in southern Xinjiang (4,000-2,000 ya); a more recent wave occurred around 750 ya, which is in agreement with the estimate from a recent study using other methods. We unveiled a more complex scenario of ancestral origins and admixture history in XJU than previously reported, which further suggests Bronze Age massive migrations in Eurasia and East-West contacts across the Silk Road.

48 citations


Cites background from "The Silk Road: Two Thousand Years i..."

  • ...The Silk Road was not a single route, but rather a series of routes (Wood 2002), and Xinjiang is a territory with a documented history of at least 2,500 years and populated by a succession of peoples and empires during the course of its history....

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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This paper will examine these myths, and the roles that phytochemistry should play in this process, and some examples of the use of the new strategies will be presented from the contemporary literature.

45 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the strategic implications of the One Belt One Road (OBOR) strategic implications for India are examined, and the implications need to be considered within the framework of the future development of the China...
Abstract: This article examines One Belt One Road (OBOR) strategic implications for India. It is argued that the implications need to be considered within the framework of the future development of the China...

42 citations