Department or Program



The Silk Roads existed at the heart of the ancient world. Stretching from the Mediterranean Sea in the west all the way to the Pacific Ocean in the east, the Silk Roads wound their way through three continents worth of distance. The highest mountains and the driest deserts were along its pathways. A constellation of civilizations, from Tang China to the Sassanid Empire, existed amid a mesh of trading routes. Countless people journeyed along well-worn paths for centuries of time. The Silk Roads encompasses an endless library of stories to be told. This project is dedicated to telling one of those. Utilizing the unique abundance of material history on the Silk Roads as well as the visual arts, I have created a watercolor-illustrated graphic novel history of the Silk Roads. I trace the movements of one Sassanid-made glass bowl as it travels across the continent, from the manufacturing hub of Ved Ardashir in the Sassanid Empire, to the Sogdian city of Panjikent, to the Tarim Basin oasis city of Khotan, to the crossroad town of Dunhuang, eventually to the Tang capital of Chang’an. In doing so, I highlight the diversity of cultures and experiences documented on those ancient routes. I discuss how networks of trade, geography, and gender roles shaped history on the Silk Roads. Furthermore, I hope to bring history to life in a way that is both accessible and entertaining. I want to tell a story.

Level of Access

Restricted: Embargoed [Bates Community After Expiration]

First Advisor

Chaney, Wes

Date of Graduation


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Number of Pages


Components of Thesis

1 pdf file


Available to Bates Community via local IP address or Bates login on Tuesday, March 30, 2027.