Treasures of the Silk Road from China to the Mediterranean
The Silk Road extends over 8000km from China through Central Asia to the Mediterranean. The route acted as a highway for beliefs, ideas, inventions and art, whilst silk was just one of the many products traded for 1400 years. With the Greek invasion of Alexander the Great, early Persian routes spread east towards India, until stability finally allowed the Chineses to trade silk, jade and ceramics in exchange for horses, pearls and gold.
Buddhism spread throughout Central Asia and here are wonderful paintings from the Magao caves at Dunhuang and the 'Caves of the Thousand Buddhas' at Bezeklik in the Flaming Mountains. Samarkland and Bukhara are the beginning of the great Islamic buildings that continue through Persia and Syria.
Along the way we will see that traditional murals, ceramics, statues, carpets, architecture, mosiacs, tile-work, rock carvings and of course, silk.
About Christopher Bradley
Christopher Bradley specialises in North Africa and the Middle East. He is also a guidebook writer and photographer; his latest books include The Berlitz Libya Guide 2009 and Insight Egypt Guide 2008. He has also worked as a tour leader and guide of specialist art tours to Tunisia and Libya and as a cameraman and TV producer for the National Geographic, BBC and Channel 4.
Christopher is a frequent visitor to Nerja, having talked to us about the Magi in 2007, the Queen of Sheba in 2009 and Libya in 2010.