Among the items Aurel Stein found near Dunhuang was a packet of letters being sent to Samarkand (in present day Uzbekistan) which was a major stop along the Silk Roads.
From these letters and other artifacts a reconstruction has been made of the life of traders along these roads, and this forms the basis for this episode of the series.
Dunhuang formed the entry into China proper, and also the exit where merchants would venture forth in order to sell their wares further west, and bring back items highly prized in China.
This trade was often both extremely dangerous, owing to the terrain and bandits, and rewarding for those who managed to get through: silk, for instance, was worth its weight in gold in Rome.
There is very poor editing in this dubbed version, with at least three overlaps in the narration in this episode, which somewhat mars the otherwise interesting information we receive.
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