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Trade and Economy in Ancient China
Zhang Qian Leaving Emperor Han Wudi Around 130 B.C., for his Expedition to Central Asia. Mogao Caves mural, high Tang Dynasty, Dunhuang, 618-712.
Public Domain. Courtesy of Wikipedia
In early years, by the time of Confucius
, Chinese people traded salt, iron, fish, cattle, and silk. To facilitate trade, the First Emperor
instituted a uniform weights and measure system and standardized the road width so carts could bring trade goods from one region to the next. Through the famous Silk Road, they also traded externally: goods from China could wind up in Greece. At the eastern end of the route, the Chinese traded with people from India, providing them with silk and getting lapis lazuli, coral, jade, glass, and pearls in exchange.
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