Penn State University Chinese Han Dynasty Textile and the Silk Road Paper

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Textile major 2000 words essay, related to silk/ the silk road, and Western Han Dynasty textiles. 

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History of Western Textiles Spring 2020 - Research Prospectus Due Friday, May 15th to digication A research prospectus is a formal plan for conducting a study. It is a considered analysis of the issues you are likely to confront in investigating your topic. As many of us are still under “stay at home” orders and libraries remain closed, there are certain limitations to completing a full research project this semester, so the prospectus is an ideal format for us. The prospectus is an opportunity to think critically about a topic. You will formulate a thorough outline of questions and theorize about how to discuss and answer your questions. Writing a prospectus is a useful skill to develop. It is a great way to start any project, and many grantfunded projects require this type of writing. Your prospectus should have the following sections. Please organize with the headings I have here in bold and underlined. • Introduction: Please introduce your research topic. We have already essentially done this, and you can use your 350 -500-word essay for this. Challenge yourself to expand it. Add any details that you have learned in the last few days, etc.. • Secondary research questions /theories / ideas: What research do you have that goes beyond your introduction. Perhaps look back to the very first research document that you shared with me, and you can organize your questions via who, what, when, where, how. o List all your questions, then consider which proposed secondary questions/discussion ideas you have gathered the most information about. For which do you have some preliminary answers? Choose one or two of these subtopics/questions and write a 350 -500-word discussion of your working thoughts and ideas. o The purpose of this section is to demonstrate to me a bit more about what you have accomplished this semester. Use this section of the prospectus to share information with me. • Literature review: The literature review should be a discussion of what is already written about your topic. Explain to me what sources you used to learn about your topic. Review the ones that were most helpful to you and explain why. Is there one particular scholar or researcher well-known for research in this area? This section should be a paragraph of about 250 – 400 words. • Illustrations: You may add any captioned images beyond the 2 that you used to illustrate your short essay. • Bibliography: Create a bibliography with 2 sections. First, list everything you were able to access via the web to complete your work. Make a secondary list of sources you learned about but did not have access to at this time. • Conclusion: Discuss in paragraph form why you choose your topic and how it has inspired you or informed your own practice / goals for the semester. What was your most important take away from this assignment? Woman in Gauze It is hard for me to not brought up The Silk Road when I started thinking about Han Dynasty. I heard the story of The Silk Road when I was a little kid. My parents would pat me asleep with mythical, exotic stories. Travelers, merchants and emperors like Marco Polo and Genghis Khan stepped on The Silk Road between Chang’an (now the present-day city of Xi’an) China in the East and Rome, Italy in the west, between the 2nd century BC up until the 15th century AD. As the name shows, The Silk Road transported luxury silk textile as main goods in the beginning. During the Spring and Autumn Period and starting of Western Han Dynasty, weaving technology and sericulture was already in a high level of efficiency, main materials were hemp and silk. Silk textile weaving technology were in a monopoly condition for hundreds of years, and it was an important international trading material. Silk was only served to royal families at first, but eventually more and more people could afford the precious material and a large production emerged. Among all those excavated fabulous textiles and fancy clothing, one unimpressive piece stands out, and the deeper I dig, the more shocked and appreciate I obtain with this piece. The plain voile Buddhist garment is 1.6 meters long, long-sleeved but only weight 48 grams. People can easily fold it into a match box to carry. It was unearthed from Tomb No.1 Mawangdui Han Dynasty Tomb, and was believed to be the lightest silk clothing in Chinese history. Undoubtedly, this textile gives us a taste of Western Han Dynasty’s delicate craftsmanship. This cloth belonged to wife of prime minister Licang, Xinzhui. This family is super wealthy, archeologists found thirty to forty pieces of embroidery total pricing two million Qian, and for a rich family at that age, monthly expense would be 5,000 Qian. Madam Xinzhui was gorgeous when she was excavated in 1972, with hear attached and some of her joints were even movable. She was wearing twenty layers of cloths in her tomb including this light garment and other cloths for all seasons, which took workers a whole week to peel all cloths apart. There are a lot of rumor around this light garment. Some scholars believed this is a piece of racy lingerie, but it was popularly believed to be a frock which women usually wear to let floral patterns on inner cloths more dynamic and vivid. This piece of garment is legendary and full of uncanny stories. 1983, it was stollen with other 38 cultural relics in Hunan Provincial Museum, when police officers were busy handling and tried to track thieves, all relics were found near the wall near the museum park, and several days later, this garment was mailed by an anonymous to archeology office. Work Cited 103976. “Unveiling the Lightest Cloth: What Happened to The Girl Who Wears a Gauze 2200 Years Ago.” Yangzi Evening Paper. Accessed May 1, 2020. Hirst, K. Kris. “The History and Archaeology of the Ancient Silk Road.” ThoughtCo, August 2, 2018. “Subscribe to Free Email Newsletter.” The Lightest Silk Clothing. Accessed May 1, 2020. 西汉时期的丝织业. Accessed May 1, 2020.
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Running head: THE SILK ROAD


The Silk Road
Name of Student
Institutional Affiliation



The Silk Road is among the oldest routes where international trade used to take place. In
the 19th century, it was initially referred to as the “Silk Road," which ran for 4,500 kilometers.
The route formed from the tracks of caravans that passed goods between the currently known
Xi’an city or formerly called Chang’an, Rome in the west and China in the East in 2nd century
BC to 15th century AD. Routes of the “Silk Road” include networks of properly located
thoroughfares, markets, and trading posts made to outline the storage, distribution, exchange, and
transport of goods. The routes go as far as from the Greco-Roman metropolis through the desert
of Syria to Ctesiphon and Seleucia along river Tigris. Routes passed from Seleucia eastward
through the Zagros Mountains to Merv (Turkmenistan) and Ecbatana (Iran), where other routes
traversed to current Afghanistan and eastward into China and Mongolia. Consequently, the Silk
Routes led to Persian Gulf ports where goods were transported along the Euphrates and Tigris
rivers. Routes from the named cities were connected to Mediterranean Seaports, where goods
were transported to Europe and the entire Roman Empire. The famous travelers of the Silk Road
included Kublai Khan, Genghis Khan, and Marco Polo. The “Silk Road” was initially recorded
to be in use in the period of the “Han Dynasty” in 206 BC to 220 AD. However, there has been
current archeological evidence about the History of domestication of plants and animals,
including barley to show that trade conducted by the steppe societies of ancient times across the
deserts of central Asia started 5,000 to 6,000 years ago. Reports from the historical tradition state
that trade routes started in 2nd century BC because of efforts from Emperor Wudi that ruled
during the “Han Dynasty." Wudi ordered Zhang Qian, the military commander in China, to seek
an alliance with the neighbors of Persia. An essential item of trade was Silk, demanded in Rome
and made in China. Making Silk involved the feeding of silkworm caterpillars on mulberry



leaves. China kept the process of making Silk a secret up until the 6th century AD, where
caterpillar eggs were smuggled out of China by a Christian monk. While trying to maintain the
trade connection, other items apart from Silk were passing through the “Silk Road." Precious
gold and ivory, food items including carrots, safflowers and pomegranates went East from Rome.
The Ea...

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