The Hepu Han tombs and the maritime Silk Road of the Han Dynasty
Published online by Cambridge University Press: 19 January 2015
The extensive cemetery at Hepu in southern China represents one of the best-preserved tomb complexes of the Han period. It contains many elaborate tombs with exotic luxury materials that testify to the status of Hepu as the home port of the maritime Silk Road. This trading network carried Chinese products (notably silks) by sea to kingdoms and communities of South and Southeast Asia, and was the southern counterpart to the more famous overland Silk Road through Central Asia. The materials found in the Hepu tombs demonstrate the range and geography of contacts, including semi-precious beads from India and ceramics from the Parthian empire. This far-flung trade network had major impacts both on southern China and on the other regions that it connected.
- Copyright © Antiquity Publications Ltd. 2014