Travel played a significant role in helping me form ideas for my book and conjure a long-lost world. Here I will share a few photos from a trip I made to Xi’an, China’s ancient and medieval capital and the eastern terminus of the Silk Road.
Today one must squint and let the imagination take hold, but the marketplace in the Muslim Quarter suggests the city’s history as a thronging entrepot where all manner of goods from China, Central Asia, and beyond flowed in and out.
It dates from a much later time than the Han dynasty setting of my novel yet the Great Mosque gave me a taste of the legacy of Xi’an as a meeting point of peoples and wellspring of its own culture.
The Terracotta Warriors date to the Qin dynasty, which collapsed in 206 BC, about a century and a half before the events of Silk Road Centurion. Close enough, I say. Spending a couple hours in their company is a highly reliable form of time travel.