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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Cited articles

Afzaal, M.: Silk Road to Belt Road: reinventing the past and shaping the future, Asia Pac. Bus. Rev., 26, 104–107, 2020. 
Aitken, M. J.: Introduction to optical dating: the dating of Quaternary sediments by the use of photon-stimulated luminescence, Clarendon Press, Oxford, UK, 1998. 
An, C. B., Wang, W., Duan, F. T., Huang, W., and Chen, F. H.: Environmental changes and cultural exchange between East and West along the Silk Road in arid Central Asia, Acta Geogr. Sin., 72, 875–891, 2017 (in Chinese). 
Beckwith, C. I.: Empires of the silk road: A history of central Eurasia from the Bronze Age to the present, Princeton University Press, New Jersey, USA, 2009. 
Blackmore, C.: Crossing the Desert of Death: Through the Fearsome Taklamakan, John Murray press, London, UK, 2000. 
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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.