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Episode 2: Hepu - Treasure Trove of Overseas Goods

In the second episode, we talk about the opening of the Maritime Silk Road in Hepu, an ancient trading port in Southern China. This port rose to importance during the Han dynasty. Join us in exploring the numerous tombs of this port and the fascinating assortment of overseas goods they contain.

More info:

ArticleHepu and the Opening of the Han Dynasty's Maritime Silk Road
ObjectPersian Ceramic Pot



Persian Ceramic Pot

Hepu and the Opening of the Han Dynasty's Maritime Silk Road

Hepu and the Opening of the Han Dynasty's Maritime Silk Road
Today, many Chinese scholars believe that China’s first turn to the sea was during the Han Dynasty and took place in Southern China. To explore this theory, we have to travel to the most southern coastal regions of China bordering the South China Sea. This area, historically called Lingnan, roughly corresponds to the present-day provinces of Guangxi and Guangdong. When looking at a map of China, these two provinces are at the most southern point of China. According to Chinese historians this region is the cradle of the maritime silk road in China and there are two reasons why they think so: first, in Lingnan they have discovered the remains of two Han-period ports that are mentioned in an early historical text; and secondly also in this region they have found a large number of so-called ‘oversea goods’ in Han-dynasty tombs.
Historical Evidence: The Book of Han Let’s first have a look at this historical text, which is the …

The Silk Road(s): A Short Introduction

The Silk Road(s): A Short Introduction

Defining the Silk Roads

The term Silk Road was coined in 1877 by the German geographer and historian Ferdinand von Richthofen. The singular “Die Seidenstra├če” (Silk Road) or plural “Seidenstra├čen” (Silk Roads) were first used by Richthofen in one of his lectures, but only in the twentieth century these terms became more commonly mentioned by scholars. Since then, the Silk Road has come to mean many things beyond its original usage. You can think of the Silk Road as the original globalisation before the rise of modern globalisation. It is, in a nutshell, the intercultural movement of goods and ideas.

Besides, the well-known overland silk road, there also exists a network of maritime routes, called the Maritime Silk Road. Sometimes referred to as “the Spice Routes” or “Ceramic Routes”, these maritime routes also played a major role in the intercultural interactions between regions in Eurasia. So actually, when we talk about silk roads, the plural fo…