The Culture of Sky Road -- Exhibition of Tibetan History and Culture
February 27, 2018 - July 22, 2018 Time: 9:00—17:00 (closed on Mondays) Venue: Room B, F1


Part Two: Sky Road of the Plateau

Natural barriers can never stop humans from making contact with each other. The Qinghai-Tibet Plateau adjoins the Hexi Corridor and Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Regionto the north, Central Asia and South Asia to the southwest and Bashu (ancient Sichuan) to the east. Peaks, gorges, waterways and mountain passes have all served as strategic passages for human activity since ancient times. Indeed, the plateau's sky road has enabled cultural exchange between China and India, Tibet and neighboring regions of the mainland and other countries and regions stretching back thousands of years.

1. The Silk Roads of the Plateau 

The silk roads of the plateau referred to a transportation network linking ancient Tibet with the mainland and neighboring countries and regions at different times in history. They were made up of ancient traffic routes including the Tang-Tibet Ancient Road, Tubo-Nepal Road and Tea-Horse Road, which prospered during the Tang and Song dynasties. Aided by these routes, ancient Tibet maintained economic, political and cultural exchange with surrounding countries. 

2. Tea-Horse Trade 

Tea drinking became the major means for water replenishment and vitamin acquisition due to the Tibetan meat-heavy dietary habits. Meanwhile, horses were critical resources for both production and the military in central China at that time. Commerce and trade communication between Tibet and central China was linked by the tea-horse trade. The silk roads that stretched along the plateau further connected Tibet to India and even to central Asia.

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