Some archaeological evidence indicates that interactions between eastern and western cultures date back well before the Silk Road. For example, mummies found in Lou-lan, on the edge of China’s Taklimakan Desert, have distinctly western features and are wrapped in wool similar to that produced in Europe 4,000 years ago.


Among the numerous Buddhist grottos is the famous cave site at Bamiyan, Afghanistan, where two monumental Buddhas were destroyed by the Taliban a few years ago (see John C. Huntington, “The Buddhas of Bamiyan,” AO 04:04).


See Rekha Morris, “Imagining Buddha,” AO 04:04.