The Silk Road, one of the oldest and most important trade routes known to man, was an interconnection of many large and small routes that connected the Asian continent with the Mediterranean world and northeast Africa. It passed through the present day countries of China, Uzbekistan, Northern India, Iran, Turkey, and Italy. The Great Silk Road spanned over two continents and covered over 4,000 miles (8000/kilometers) that connected the ancient empires of China and Rome. It first came known as the Silk Road in 1877 by the German geographer Ferdinand von Richthofen.With a total length of about 7,000 kilometers, it is the longest trade route in the ancient world.
Not only did the Silk Road promote economic trade, it also promoted artistic, cultural, and philosophical exchanges. Great historical figures like Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, Marco Polo and Tamerlane all set their foot on the great Silk Road, along with traders, merchants, pilgrims, missionaries, soldiers, nomads and urban dwellers.