Marco Polo's route, 13th century

Marco Polo's route, 13th century

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Credit: GARY HINCKS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Marco Polo's route, 13th century. Italian merchant Marco Polo (1254-1324) left Venice (top left) in 1271 aged 17 with his father and uncle. They returned there 24 years later in 1295 after travelling some 24,000 kilometres. The places they stayed in and visited included: Acre, Trebizond, Baghdad, Terbil, Ormuz, Balkh, Kashgar, Lanzhou, Karakorum, Beijing, Chengdu, Pagan and Hangchow. The land route took them through Persia, Central Asia, and China, passing along the network of trading routes known as the Silk Road. The sea route home was via Singapore, Sumatra, and Jaffna (in Sri Lanka), then across land to Constantinople, before sailing to Venice.

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