Silk, Scents and Spice tells the story of the silk, scent and spice trade routes. At once a fascinating history and travelogue, this book is filled with astonishing colour photographs, illustrating the author’s journeys along routes once traced by great trade caravans and vessels. Besides exotic merchandise these routes also carried new ideas, technologies and religions across vast distances.
The oldest route was the Incense Trail, which linked the frankincense-producing regions of Arabia with the empires of antiquity. The Silk Road was the longest of the routes, stretching across mountains, desert and the steppes of Central Asia, joining the markets of China with those of Europe and the Middle East. The Spice Route connected the great civilizations of Europe, India and the Orient for over 2,000 years. Arab dhows, Chinese junks and Spanish galleons would sail this route laden with precious spices from South-East Asia and the treasures of the Orient. Their trade of these routes bred international rivalries and conquests, and the search for these riches impelled Columbus to cross the Atlantic and Magellan to circumnavigate the globe.