The Silk Roads: an educational resource by Morris Rossabi

The Silk Roads, an incurably romantic subject which offers a splendid source for secondary school teachers and students alike, linked the civilizations of Eurasia for much of premodern history, starting as early as the second century B.C.E., if not earlier. China, Central Asia, West Asia, and, to a lesser extent, Europe, were placed in touch with each other via the Silk Roads. The economic significance of their contacts in pre-1500 history may have been exaggerated, but their cultural impact can hardly be overstated, and the political influences, particularly during the era of the Mongol empire, have only, of late, received much attention.

http://www.aasianst.org/EAA/silkroad.htm