For many centuries, the primary route by which Europeans traded with China was over the long, slow land route called the Silk Road. Using the Silk Road typically required that Europeans traded indirectly with China through Middle Eastern merchants. Both the distance and the nature of the trade added to the expense of trading with the East. The desire to find a quicker and more direct trade route to China was a large factor in inaugurating the Age of Exploration.
Examine the images in the Media Gallery below, paying close attention to details about trade between Europe and the East. Then, use the worksheet in Support Materials to answer three short essay questions.