The Story of the Silk Road and Nara’s Shosoin Treasure Repository of the Emperor


The story of the Silk Road is, inter alia, the most fascinating narrative of mutual cultural, linguistic, literary, artistic and religious influences that occurred among the nations and tribes that existed along the Silk Road. The Silk Road trade included various types of goods, from those that had certain economic value, such as silk, jade, spices and the like, to those that are nowadays highly esteemed in cultural and artistic terms and protected by the organizations that advocate for the preservation of cultural heritage, such as The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). As a country that was located at the eastern end of the Silk Road, Japan has actively participated in trade of goods that took place along the Silk Road. Of all the goods that were exchanged between Japan and other Silk Road countries, the most precious ones are certainly those that help us reconstruct or verify the facts related to the history of the Silk Road. Nara’s Shosoin Treasure Repository of the Emperor contains the largest collection of 8th century Silk Road artifacts. The aim of this paper is to analyze a number of items preserved in the mentioned repository, thus conveying the story of permeation of diverse cultures, religions, languages, literature and arts that changed and shaped the identity of Silk Road countries forever.

Author Information
Ljiljana Markovic, University of Belgrade, Serbia
Aleksandra Vranes, University of Belgrade, Serbia
Milica Jelic Mariokov, University of Belgrade, Serbia

Paper Information
Conference: ACAH2017
Stream: Humanities - History, Historiography

This paper is part of the ACAH2017 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon