During this project we have been researching about one of the city on the silk road. Our group had researched about Dun Huang (敦煌), which is located around the edge of the Gobi desert, China. I have worked with Kate during this project.
If you were a traveler on ancient the Silk Road, why would I want to stop in your city?
I think the ancient travelers on the silk road would want to stop at Dun Huang because it has a lot of source of water (Dun Huang is located near a rich oasis) and it is the only city on the silk road between the middle east and China (if you look at the map above…). It is also like a trading center of China. The place where China, the start of the silk road, import things such as medicine, spices, wines, rugs, fragrant woods, “heavenly horses” (the steeds) and etc. They also export things such as silk, porcelain, etc.
What was the most interesting thing you learned about your city?
I think the most interesting thing I’ve learned is about the fact that Mogao cave has been forgotten for about 500 years. At the 14th centery, the Mogao cave were lost and forgotten until a monk from Taoism accidentally trampled into the cave in 19th centery. I thought the fact that people had actually forgotten the huge cave for 500 years was really… unusual.
Would you want to visit your city today (in 2011?) Why or why not?
I would like to visit Dun Huang in the modern days because I would like to see how hard is it to go through the desert with camels. In ancient times people did not have the technology to find their current location in the desert and they also had a lot of goods to carry. Also, it is hard to find water in the desert and there may be some people who takes away the goods from the traders using the force of weapons.
How does the physical geography of your place affect the culture of the people who lived in your city?
The travelers and the traders who came from or going to Xian,China would need to stop at the city of Dun Huang and the traders would need to trade some goods for water and food. Going through the desert is the only way between the Middle East and Xian,China so traders are forced to stop in Dun Huang. The local people in Dun Huang would get to see all kinds of culture because of the traders and they might end up copying bits and pieces of the each culture.
How do you think your research of your city can help answer the question, “What Happens When East Meets West?”
I think the research of Dun Huang had helped me to answer the question by the physical geography of Dun Huang. Dun Huang was like a layer of glue between 2 pieces of paper so both east and west would be forced to meet there. When two cultures meet, they would mix like water and paint, into a whole new culture which includes the BEST parts of all of the cultures.
Explain what happened in the String Silk Road.
In the string silk road, the trading strings were mostly connecting the cities with more goods to trade such as grapes, wine, rugs, weapons, metals, and all kinds of stuff. The cities at the edge of the silk roads wouldn’t get too many strings connecting the cities because it is not the main points of the silk road.
How did the String Silk road game help answer the question, what happens when East Meets West?
We found that in the string silk road, when the east meets west there were more trading going on and the number of the strings were increasing by the time passed and each cities needed more goods after east met west.