Articles | Volume 17, issue 3
Clim. Past, 17, 1395–1407, 2021
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-17-1395-2021

Special issue: International methods and comparisons in climate reconstruction...

Clim. Past, 17, 1395–1407, 2021
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-17-1395-2021
Research article
29 Jun 2021
Research article | 29 Jun 2021

Climate-driven desertification and its implications for the ancient Silk Road trade

Guanghui Dong et al.

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Short summary
A compilation of the results of absolute dating and high-resolution paleoclimatic records from the Xishawo site in the Dunhuang area and historical archives reveals that two desertification events occurred at ~ 800–600 BCE and ~ 1450 CE. The later desertification event was consistent with the immediate fall in tribute trade that occurred in ~ 1450 CE, which indicates that climate change played a potentially important role in explaining the decline of the Ancient Silk Road trade.