Hærvejen, sometimes referred to in English as the Ox Road, is the name given to an ancient trackway in Denmark and Schleswig-Holstein. The route runs from Viborg via Flensburg to Hamburg, the territory of which it entered at Ochsenzoll and where it connected with other roads, it has been known by several other names throughout history, most "the Cattle Road" and "the Oxen Road" or "Ox Road". The road runs more or less along the watershed of the Jutland Peninsula, known as the Jyske Højderyg, similar to the ridgeways in England. By using this route one could avoid rivers, or ford them close to their origins where they were still shallow; as time went by this route was improved with paved fords and bridges. Concentrations of mounds, defensive ditches and other historic landmarks can be found along the road. While sections of it can be traced as far back as 4000 BC, newer road construction has erased many traces; some of them show a width of up to 100 metres. The use of the road declined during the Viking age, as transportation by ship became more convenient.
New cities were constructed along the coast instead of the road. Two of Denmark’s oldest settlements and Jelling are situated along the road. In the southern, narrow part of the Jutish peninsula the trackway followed the edge of western marshes and eastern moraine country. Near Haderslev, Åbenrå, Schleswig, it branched into western bypasses on the hills and accesses to the towns, each of them localized at the inner end of a long, narrow bay. One of the southern ends of the Ochsenweg has given its name to a suburb of Hamburg: Ochsenzoll is the locality of the ancient custom post. Part of the tracks westerly bypassed Hamburg towards Wedel bei Hamburg or Blankenese, where a ferry passing the Elbe connected to Cranz. An easterly bypass headed for Zollenspieker Ferry, passing the same river towards Hoopte in the Principality of Lunenburg. From south of the Elbe the cattle tracks continued up to Westphalia; the road was a trade road. The most important commodity was livestock, but amber, hides and fur went south.
Annually up to 50,000 head of cattle came along the oxen road. Metal and weapons went north. In spite of the most familiar Danish name, it was used for military invasions, neither northwards, nor southwards. Many defensive constructions can be found straddling the road up through Jutland. Today modern highways follow the route of the old road. At a few places it is still possible to see the old tracks, sheep pens and fords. Parts of it have been converted into a long-distance walking route. A popular walk known as Hærvejsmarchen takes place each year. An international cycle route has been marked from the Elbe to Viborg. Website
The Stecknitz Canal was an artificial waterway in northern Germany which connected Lauenburg and Lübeck on the Old Salt Route by linking the tiny rivers Stecknitz and Delvenau, thus establishing an inland water route across the drainage divide from the North Sea to the Baltic Sea. Built between 1391 and 1398, the Stecknitz Canal was the first European summit-level canal and one of the earliest artificial waterways in Europe. In the 1890s the canal was replaced by an enlarged and straightened waterway called the Elbe–Lübeck Canal, which includes some of the Stecknitz Canal's watercourse; the original artificial canal was 7.5 metres wide. The canal included seventeen wooden locks that managed the 13-metre elevation difference between its endpoints and the highest central part, the Delvenaugraben. In the Middle Ages the trade between the North Sea and Baltic Sea grew but the sea journey through Øresund important to commercial shipping since the thirteenth century, was time-consuming and dangerous.
Therefore, the emerging Hanseatic city of Lübeck and Eric IV of Saxe-Lauenburg agreed in 1390 to cooperate in the construction of an artificial canal between the Elbe and the Baltic Sea. Construction on the canal began in 1391; the Stecknitz Canal soon replaced the existing overland cart road as the main transport mode for Lüneburg salt on the Old Salt Route. In Lübeck the salt was stored in vast salt warehouses and transferred to ocean-going vessels for export throughout the Baltic region. In the reverse direction the Stecknitz barges transported cereals, herring, ash and other goods from Lübeck, which were reloaded in Lauenburg and transported down the Elbe to Hamburg. Coal, brick and gravel were added to the cargo; the importance of the canal was greatest in years in which Øresund was closed to merchant ships because of disputes over the Sound Dues and foreign shipping. In the fifteenth century traffic peaked, with more than 3,000 shipments of more than 30,000 tons of salt moving on the canal each year.
This number declined by the seventeenth century to 400 to 600 shipments. In 1789 there were still sixty-four shipments carrying 680 tons of salt. Plans for a new Baltic–North Sea canal were proposed as early as the seventeenth century, but none was implemented until the end of the nineteenth century, when the new Elbe–Lübeck Canal was built using parts of the old route of the Stecknitz Canal. For five hundred years the canal was used to transport other goods; the Stecknitz Canal consisted of an 11.5-kilometre artificial waterway linking two minor rivers, the north-flowing Stecknitz and south-flowing Delvenau. The man-made trench itself was about 85 centimetres deep and 7.5 metres wide, though it was enlarged between 1821 and 1823 to a depth of 144 centimetres and a width of 12 metres. Outside the artificial segment the canal followed the tortuous natural watercourses of the two rivers; the journey along the canal lasted two weeks or longer due to the number and primitive design of the locks and the difficulty of towing.
The canal's course included thirteen locks, which renovations increased to seventeen. Most were one-gate flash locks built into weirs, where water was dammed until a barge was ready to pass downriver. In Lauenburg the initial course included one chamber lock because of a watermill whose operation would have been made impossible by a flash lock. Over the course of the canal's lifetime further flash locks were progressively converted to chamber locks until the 17th century; the canal overcame the drainage divide between the North and Baltic Seas, with a summit height of 17 metres above sea level. In order to supply the top portion of the canal with water, flow was diverted from Hornbeker Mühlenbach. To the north the canal descended to the Ziegelsee by the town of Mölln and connected to the Stecknitz by a series of eight locks; the southern end of the artificial canal descended to the Delvenau through a staircase of nine locks. The original salt barges measured 12 metres by 2.5 metres, with a 40-centimetre draft when loaded to capacity with around 7.5 tons of salt, required at least ten days to make the journey one way.
When traveling uphill or through chamber locks the barges had to be hauled by laborers or animals walking the towpath on the banks of the channel. By the nineteenth century newer vessel designs included rigging. In Lauenburg and Lübeck the barges were unloaded and their contents transferred to ships for export down the Elbe and Trave. Stecknitz barge drivers were only permitted to own one barge each, so they could not acquire great wealth in the trade; the guild of the Stecknitzfahrer
History of salt
Salt referred to as table salt or by its chemical formula NaCl, is an ionic compound made of sodium and chloride ions. All life has evolved to depend on its chemical properties to survive, it has been used from food preservation to seasoning. Salt's ability to preserve food was a founding contributor to the development of civilization, it helped to eliminate dependence on seasonal availability of food, made it possible to transport food over large distances. However, salt was difficult to obtain, so it was a valued trade item, was considered a form of currency by certain peoples. Many salt roads, such as the via Salaria in Italy, had been established by the Bronze age. All through history, availability of salt has been pivotal to civilization. In Britain, the suffix "-wich" in a placename means it was once a source of salt, as in Sandwich and Norwich; the Natron Valley was a key region that supported the Egyptian Empire to its north, because it supplied it with a kind of salt that came to be called by its name, natron.
Today, salt is universally accessible cheap, iodized. Salt comes from two main sources: the sodium chloride mineral halite. Rock salt occurs in vast beds of sedimentary evaporite minerals that result from the drying up of enclosed lakes and seas. Salt beds may underlie broad areas. In the United States and Canada extensive underground beds extend from the Appalachian basin of western New York through parts of Ontario and under much of the Michigan basin. Other deposits are in Texas, Kansas, New Mexico, Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan. In the United Kingdom underground beds are found around Droitwich. Salzburg, was named "the city of salt" for its mines. High-quality rock salt was cut in medieval Maragmureş and Southern Poland. Tuzla in Bosnia and Herzegovina was named in Hungarian Só from the twelfth century on and "place of salt" by Turks. Salt is extracted from underground beds either by mining or by solution mining using water to dissolve the salt. In solution mining the salt reaches the surface as brine, from which the water is evaporated leaving salt crystals.
Solnitsata, the earliest known town in Europe, was built around a salt production facility. Located in present-day Bulgaria, the town is thought by archaeologists to have accumulated wealth by supplying salt throughout the Balkans. Salt was of high value to the Jews, Tamils, Chinese and other peoples of antiquity. Aside from being a contributing factor in the development of civilization, salt was used in the military practice of salting the earth by various peoples, beginning with the Assyrians. In the early years of the Roman Republic, with the growth of the city of Rome, roads were built to make transportation of salt to the capital city easier. An example was the Via Salaria; the Adriatic, having a higher salinity due to its shallow depth, had more productive solar ponds compared with those of the Tyrrhenian Sea, much closer to Rome. The word "salary" comes from the Latin word for salt; the reason for this is unknown. During the late Roman Empire and throughout the Middle Ages salt was a precious commodity carried along the salt roads into the heartland of the Germanic tribes.
Caravans consisting of as many as forty thousand camels traversed four hundred miles of the Sahara bearing salt to inland markets in the Sahel, sometimes trading salt for slaves: Timbuktu was a huge salt and slave market. Salt in Chinese history was both a driver of technological development and a stable source of revenue for the imperial government. In the Old Testament, Mosaic law calls for salt to be added to all grain offerings and compares the priestly covenant between God and the kohen patrilineal descendants of Ahron to salt; the Book of Ezra associated accepting salt from a person with being in that person's service. In Ezra 4:14, the adversaries of Ezra and company, in their letter of complaint to Artaxerxes I of Persia explain their loyalty to the King; when translated, it is either stated as "because we have eaten the salt of the palace" or more figuratively as "because we have maintenance from the king". Salt is used as a metaphor in the Bible. In the New Testament, Matthew 5:13, Jesus said, "You are the salt of the earth".
He added that if the salt loses its flavor, it is good for nothing but to be trampled. In addition, the preservative quality of salt is in view here to show how the disciples were called to preserve the society and the world around them from moral decay. On another occasion, according to the Gospels, Jesus commanded his followers to "...have salt within them." In Luke 14:34-35 Jesus concludes a series of parables on the cost of following him with the parable of spent salt. It seems. From this we learn that those who follow him should expect to be spent, as chunks of salt after much use. Furthermore, they should prepare to be useful for the long haul. In this parable, it is good to be used as salt and bad to become useless salt; this illustration ties in with the two preceding ones of counting the cost: the disciples must prepare, by counting the cost, to be salty for as long as they are needed. Salt has played a prominent role in determining the location of the world's great cities. Liverpool rose from just a small English port to become the prime exporting port for the salt dug in the great Cheshire salt mines and thus became the entrepôt for much of the world's salt in t
Indo-Roman trade relations
Indo-Roman trade relations was trade between the Indian subcontinent and the Roman Empire in Europe and the Mediterranean. Trade through the overland caravan routes via Asia Minor and the Middle East, though at a relative trickle compared to times, antedated the southern trade route via the Red Sea and monsoons which started around the beginning of the Common Era following the reign of Augustus and his conquest of Egypt in 30 BCE; the southern route so helped enhance trade between the ancient Roman Empire and the Indian subcontinent, that Roman politicians and historians are on record decrying the loss of silver and gold to buy silk to pamper Roman wives, the southern route grew to eclipse and totally supplant the overland trade route. Roman and Greek traders frequented the ancient Tamil country, present day Southern India and Sri Lanka, securing trade with the seafaring Tamil states of the Pandyan and Chera dynasties and establishing trading settlements which secured trade with the Indian Subcontinent by the Greco-Roman world since the time of the Ptolemaic dynasty a few decades before the start of the Common Era and remained long after the fall of the Western Roman Empire.
As recorded by Strabo, Emperor Augustus of Rome received at Antioch an ambassador from a South Indian king called Pandyan of Dramira. The country of the Pandyas, Pandi Mandala, was described as Pandyan Mediterranea in the Periplus and Modura Regia Pandyan by Ptolemy, they outlasted Byzantium's loss of the ports of Egypt and the Red Sea under the pressure of the Muslim conquests. Sometime after the sundering of communications between the Axum and Eastern Roman Empire in the 7th century, the Christian kingdom of Axum fell into a slow decline, fading into obscurity in western sources, it survived, despite pressure from Islamic forces, until the 11th century, when it was reconfigured in a dynastic squabble. Communications were reinstated; the Seleucid dynasty controlled a developed network of trade with the Indian Subcontinent which had existed under the influence of the Achaemenid Empire. The Greek-Ptolemaic dynasty, controlling the western and northern end of other trade routes to Southern Arabia and the Indian Subcontinent, had begun to exploit trading opportunities in the region prior to the Roman involvement but, according to the historian Strabo, the volume of commerce between Indians and the Greeks was not comparable to that of Indo-Roman trade.
The Periplus Maris Erythraei mentions a time when sea trade between Egypt and the subcontinent did not involve direct sailings. The cargo under these situations was shipped to Aden: Aden – Arabia Eudaimon was called the fortunate, being once a city, because ships neither came from India to Egypt nor did those from Egypt dare to go further but only came as far as this place, it received the cargoes from both, just as Alexandria receives goods brought from outside and from Egypt; the Ptolemaic dynasty had developed trade with Indian kingdoms using the Red Sea ports. With the establishment of Roman Egypt, the Romans took over and further developed the existing trade using these ports. Classical geographers such as Strabo and Pliny the Elder were slow to incorporate new information into their works and, from their positions as esteemed scholars, were prejudiced against lowly merchants and their topographical accounts. Ptolemy's Geography represents somewhat of a break from this since he demonstrated an openness to their accounts and would not have been able to chart the Bay of Bengal so had it not been for the input of traders.
It is no surprise that Marinus and Ptolemy relied on the testimony of a Greek sailor named Alexander for how to reach "Cattigara" in the Magnus Sinus located east of the Golden Chersonese. In the 1st-century CE Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, its anonymous Greek-speaking author, a merchant of Roman Egypt, provides such vivid accounts of trade cities in Arabia and India, including travel times from rivers and towns, where to drop anchor, the locations of royal courts, lifestyles of the locals and goods found in their markets, favorable times of year to sail from Egypt to these places in order to catch the monsoon winds, that it is clear he visited many of these locations. Prior to Roman expansion, the various peoples of the subcontinent had established strong maritime trade with other countries; the dramatic increase in the importance of Indian ports, did not occur until the opening of the Red Sea by the Greeks and the Romans' attainment concerning the region’s seasonal monsoons. The first two centuries of the Common Era indicate a marked increase in trade between western India and the Roman east by sea.
The expansion of trade was made possible by the stability brought to the region by the Roman Empire from the time of Augustus which allowed for new explorations and the creation of a sound silver and gold coinage.. The west coast of present-day India is mentioned in literature, such as the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea; the area was noted for its strong tidal currents, turbulent waves and rocky sea-beds were dangerous for shipping experience. The anchors of ships would be caught by the waves and detach to capsize the vessel or cause a shipwreck. Stone anchors have been observed near Bet Dwarka, an island situated in the Gulf of Kachchh, from ship lost at sea. Onshore and offshore explorations have been carried out around Bet Dwarka Island since 1983; the finds discovered include lead and stone objects buried in sediment and considered to be anchors due to t
A trade route is a logistical network identified as a series of pathways and stoppages used for the commercial transport of cargo. The term can be used to refer to trade over bodies of water. Allowing goods to reach distant markets, a single trade route contains long distance arteries, which may further be connected to smaller networks of commercial and noncommercial transportation routes. Among notable trade routes was the Amber Road, which served as a dependable network for long-distance trade. Maritime trade along the Spice Route became prominent during the Middle Ages, when nations resorted to military means for control of this influential route. During the Middle Ages, organizations such as the Hanseatic League, aimed at protecting interests of the merchants, trade became prominent. In modern times, commercial activity shifted from the major trade routes of the Old World to newer routes between modern nation-states; this activity was sometimes carried out without traditional protection of trade and under international free-trade agreements, which allowed commercial goods to cross borders with relaxed restrictions.
Innovative transportation of modern times includes pipeline transport and the well-known trade involving rail routes and cargo airlines. Long distance trade routes were developed in the Chalcolithic Period; the period from the middle of the 2nd millennium BCE to the beginning of the Common Era saw societies in Western Asia, the Mediterranean and the Indian subcontinent develop major transportation networks for trade. One of the vital instruments which facilitated long distance trade was portage and the domestication of beasts of burden. Organized caravans, visible by the 2nd millennium BCE, could carry goods across a large distance as fodder was available along the way; the domestication of camels allowed Arabian nomads to control the long distance trade in spices and silk from the Far East to the Arabian Peninsula. Caravans were useful in long-distance trade for carrying luxury goods, the transportation of cheaper goods across large distances was not profitable for caravan operators. With productive developments in iron and bronze technologies, newer trade routes – dispensing innovations of civilizations – began to rise.
Evidence of maritime trade between civilizations dates back at least 90 millennia. Navigation was known in Sumer between the 4th and the 3rd millennium BCE, was known by the Indians and the Chinese people before the Sumerians; the Egyptians had trade routes through the Red Sea, importing spices from the "Land of Punt" and from Arabia. Maritime trade began with safer coastal trade and evolved with the manipulation of the monsoon winds, soon resulting in trade crossing boundaries such as the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal. South Asia had multiple maritime trade routes which connected it to Southeast Asia, thereby making the control of one route resulting in maritime monopoly difficult. Indian connections to various Southeast Asian states buffered it from blockages on other routes. By making use of the maritime trade routes, bulk commodity trade became possible for the Romans in the 2nd century BCE. A Roman trading vessel could span the Mediterranean in a month at one-sixtieth the cost of over-land routes.
The peninsula of Anatolia lay on the commercial land routes to Europe from Asia as well as the sea route from the Mediterranean to the Black Sea. Records from the 19th century BCE attest to the existence of an Assyrian merchant colony at Kanesh in Cappadocia. Trading networks of the Old World included the Grand Trunk Road of India and the Incense Road of Arabia. A transportation network consisting of hard-surfaced highways, using concrete made from volcanic ash and lime, was built by the Romans as early as 312 BCE, during the times of the Censor Appius Claudius Caecus. Parts of the Mediterranean world, Roman Britain, Tigris-Euphrates river system and North Africa fell under the reach of this network at some point of their history. According to Robert Allen Denemark: "The spread of urban trading networks, their extension along the Persian Gulf and eastern Mediterranean, created a complex molecular structure of regional foci so that as well as the zonation of core and periphery there was a series of interacting civilizations: Mesopotamia, the Indus Valley.
Beyond this was a margin which included not only temperate areas such as Europe, but the dry steppe corridor of central Asia. This was a world system though it occupied only a restricted portion of the western Old World. Whilst each civilization emphasized its ideological autonomy, all were identifiably part of a common world of interacting components." These routes – spreading religion and technology – have been vital to the growth of urban civilization. The extent of development of cities, the level of their integration into a larger world system, has been attributed to their position in various active transport networks; the Incense Route served as a channel for trading of Indian and East Asian goods. The incense trade flourished from South Arabia to the Mediterranean between the 3rd century BCE to the 2nd century CE; this trade was crucial to the economy of Yemen and the frankincense and myrrh trees were seen as a source of wealth by the its rulers. Ptolemy II Philadelphus, emperor of Ptolemaic Egypt, may have forged an alliance with the Lihyanites in order to secure the incense route at Dedan, thereby rerouting the incense trade from Dedan to the coast along the Red Sea to Egypt.
I. E. S. Edwards connects the Syro-Ephraimite War to the desire of the Israelites and the Aramaeans to cont
Grand Trunk Road
The Grand Trunk Road is one of Asia's oldest and longest major roads — founded around 3rd century BCE by the Mauryan Empire of ancient India. For more than two millennia, it has linked the South Asia with Central Asia, it runs from Chittagong through to Dhaka in Bangladesh across Northern India through Delhi, passing from Amritsar. From there, the road continues towards Lahore and Peshawar in Pakistan terminating in Kabul, Afghanistan; the route spanning the Grand Trunk road existed during the reign of Chandragupta Maurya, extending from the mouth of the Ganges to the north-western frontier of the Empire. The predecessor of the modern road was rebuilt by Sher Shah Suri, who renovated and extended the ancient Mauryan route in the 16th century; the road was upgraded in the British period between 1833 and 1860.coincides with current N1, N4 & N405, N507 and N6 in Bangladesh. Research indicates that the Grand Trunk road predated Buddha's birth and was called Uttara Path, road to the North. Salman Rashid attributes the Road's construction to Chandragupta Maurya.
During the time of the Maurya Empire in the 3rd century BCE, overland trade between India and several parts of Western Asia and the Hellenistic world went through the cities of the north-west Takshashila. Takshashila was well connected by roads with other parts of the Mauryan Empire; the Mauryas had maintained this ancient highway from Takshashila to Patliputra. Chandragupta Maurya had a whole army of officials overseeing the maintenance of this road as told by the Greek diplomat Megasthenes who spent fifteen years at the Mauryan court. Constructed in eight stages, this road is said to have connected the cities of Purushapura, Hastinapura, Prayag and Tamralipta, a distance of around Canton 2,600 kilometres. Sher Shah Suri, the medieval ruler of the Sur Empire, is credited with rebuilding the road in the 16th century, he laid out the road, referred to as Shah Rah e Azam. During his reign, caravanserais and mosques were built and trees were planted along the entire stretch on both sides of the road to provide shade to travelers.
Wells were dug along the western section. The Mughals extended the road further east to Chittagong and west to Kabul and referred to the road as Sadak e Azam and Badshahi Sadak. In the 1830s the East India Company started a programme of metalled road construction, for both commercial and administrative purposes; the Grand trunk road, from Calcutta, through Delhi, to Peshawar was rebuilt at a cost of £1000 / mile, a Public Works Department, the Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee founded, to train and employ local surveyors and overseers, to perform the work, in future maintain it and other roads. Over the centuries, the road acted as one of the major trade routes in the region and facilitated both travel and postal communication; the Grand Trunk Road is still used for transportation in present-day India, where parts of the road have been widened and included in the national highway system, retaining the old name. GT Road is mentioned in a number of literary works including those of Rudyard Kipling.
Kipling described the road as: "Look! Look again! and chumars and tinkers, barbers and bunnias, pilgrims – and potters – all the world going and coming. It is to me as a river, and the Grand Trunk Road is a wonderful spectacle. It runs straight, bearing without crowding India's traffic for fifteen hundred miles – such a river of life as nowhere else exists in the world." The ensemble of historic sites along the road in India were submitted to the tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 2015, by the name Sites along the Uttarapath, Badshahi Sadak, Sadak-e-Azam, Grand Trunk Road. Travelling along the Grand Trunk Road, you can find a lot of significant heritage sites Aam Khas Bagh Phillaur Fort Kos Minar Ram Bagh Palace Mughal Serai,Doraha Moorish Mosque Pul Kanjari Mughal Bridge Sanghol cantonment church tower Akbar's Tomb Farooque, Abdul Khair Muhammad and Communications in Mughal India. Delhi: Idarah-i Adabiyat-i Delli. Weller, Anthony and Nights on the Grand Trunk Road: Calcutta to Khyber.
Marlowe & Company. Kipling, Kim. Considered one of Kipling's finest works, it is set along the Grand Trunk Road. Free e-texts are available, for instance here. Usha Masson Luther. Historical routes of north west Indian Subcontinent, Lahore to Delhi, 1550s–1850s A. D. Sagar Publications. Arden, Harvey. "Along the Grand Trunk Road". National Geographic. 177: 118–38. Mozammel, Md Muktadir Arif. "Grand Trunk Road". In Islam, Sirajul. Asiatic Society of Bangladesh. Tayler, Jeffrey. "India's Grand Trunk Road". The Atlantic Monthly. 284: 42–48. National Highway Authority of India National Highway Authority of Pakistan NPR: Along the Grand Trunk Road
The Siberian Route known as the Moscow Highway and Great Highway, was a historic route that connected European Russia to Siberia and China. The construction of the road was decreed by the Tsar two months after the conclusion of the Treaty of Nerchinsk, on 22 November 1689, but it did not start until 1730 and was not finished until the mid-19th century. Siberian transport had been by river via Siberian River Routes; the first Russian settlers arrived in Siberia by the Cherdyn river route, superseded by the Babinov overland route in the late 1590s. The town of Verkhoturye in the Urals was the most eastern point of the Babinov Road; the much longer Siberian route started in Moscow as the Vladimir Highway and passed through Murom, Kazan, Kungur, Tyumen, Tara, Tomsk and Irkutsk. After crossing Lake Baikal the road split near Verkhneudinsk. One branch continued east to Nerchinsk while the other went south to the border post of Kyakhta where it linked to camel caravans that crossed Mongolia to a Great Wall gate at Kalgan.
In the early 19th century, the route was moved to the south. From Tyumen the road proceeded through Yalutorovsk, Omsk, Tomsk and Krasnoyarsk before rejoining the older route at Irkutsk, it remained a vital artery connecting Siberia with Moscow and Europe until the last decades of the 19th century, when it was superseded by the Trans-Siberian Railway and Amur Cart Road. The automobile equivalent is the Trans-Siberian Highway; the Siberian Route was known as the Tea Road, owing to the great quantities of tea that were transported from China to Europe through Siberia. Charles Wenyon, who passed by the "Great Post Road" in 1893, subscribed to the popular belief that "the best tea produced in China goes to Russia". In 1915, China exported to Siberia 70,297 tons of tea, which accounted for 65% of the country's overall tea exports; the route is the namesake of the Russian Caravan blend of tea. It was imported in the form of hefty hard-packed tea bricks which allowed each camel to carry large quantities in a more compact manner and could pass for units of currency.
From Kyakhta tea was transported to the Irbit fair for further commercial transactions. Another popular Chinese import item was dried rhubarb root, sold west of St. Petersburg "for fifteen times what it cost in Kyakhta". Tea in Russia Kyakhta Russian-Chinese Pidgin Avery, Martha; the Tea Road: China and Russia Meet Across the Steppe. Mandarin Books, 2003. ISBN 7-5085-0380-5. Alexander Michie,'The Siberian Overland Route from Peking to Petersburg', 1864. -followed the route in 1863