Beautiful Roman glass beads from Afghanistan hang from an adjustable leather cord
The silk road was a network of ancient trade routes used by the Romans starting around 100BCE, lasting nearly 1500 years. Aside from sea-based trade routes, the silk road was the most prominent path to move textiles, spices, and other goods between Europe, the Middle East, and Central Asia. Many artifacts are found along this route, with some of the best-preserved being several forms of glass made from silica (sand) and soda (crushed limestone), and a few other ingredients to add color. A major avenue of the silk road from the Mediterranean Sea and the Persian Gulf, passed through Afghanistan where these beads originate. Even with a detailed archeological study, it is difficult to tell the true history and use of these glass artifacts. Although given their Afganistinian origin, it can be speculated that they beads are reworked fragments from ornate decorations, such as vases, chalices, plates, and other items used and enjoyed by ancient peoples trading goods along the silk road.