This programme will be available shortly after broadcast

Episode 1

Episode 1 of 3

Sam Willis traces the story of the famous trade route. He explores Venice's Renaissance architecture and art before travelling to the beginning of the Silk Road in China's Xian.

In the first episode of his series tracing the story of the most famous trade route in history, Dr Sam Willis starts in Venice and explores how its Renaissance architecture and art has been shaped by the east and by thousands of exchanges along the Silk Road.

From Venice Sam travels to China's ancient capital, Xian. Here, Sam's story takes him back in time to reveal the tale of an emperor who was so desperate for horses to help protect his borders that he struck one of the most significant trade deals in human history - he wanted war horses, he gave the most precious material in the world, silk. From this single deal, a network of trading paths were carved out across thousands of miles by merchants, traders, envoys, pilgrims and travellers. It is known to us today as the Silk Road.

1 hour

On TV

Tuesday 22:30

More episodes

Previous

You are at the first episode

Next

See all episodes from The Silk Road

Credits

Role Contributor
Presenter Sam Willis
Series Producer Richard Downes
Director Tim Niel
Assistant Producer Jon Morrice
Executive Producer Mike Smith

Broadcasts

Handmade on the Silk Road

Follow a day in the life of a weaver, woodcarver and potter in China, Uzbekistan and Iran