Silk Road Surprises
- There was no single "Silk Road." It was a complex network of trade routes.
- People often traveled at night to avoid scorching desert heat.
- It takes about 2,500 silkworms to produce one pound of silk, enough for one robe.
- Merchants sometimes packed melons and other fruit in lead containers filled with snow and ice from the mountains before sending them along the Silk Road.
- Used in military insignias, hats, fans, and brushes, bird feathers were important trade items on the Silk Road.
- Both one-humped and two-humped camels hauled goods along the Silk Road. Camel humps don't store water. They store fat, which provides energy.
- When glass first reached China, it was treated as the rarest of jewels.
- The "Arabic" numerals we use today were based on an Indian system and popularized by an Islamic mathematician in the early 800s.