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The Mongol Empire
Europeans began settling in the Mongol cities; among them the Italian Marco Polo who first came to China with his father. He travelled extensively in the Mongol empire and witnessed culture and practices of the Mongol people which he later wrote in his books. The Silk Road began to decline when the Mongolian Empire started to crumble because of misunderstandings among the regional Khans. China which had been conquered by the Mongol was later restored to Ming Dynasty and with the revival of Islam in the Western countries; the Silk trade began to decline.
Additionally, Silk which had been the most lucrative commodity in the trade lost its demand in the European countries. Trade by sea became increasingly popular since it’s was less strenuous and safe than the journey via the long Silk Road route. With the collapse of the Mongol Empire and the political instability at the time, the population along the Silk Road could no longer access the necessary resources to maintain themselves in the deserts. The cities were neglected for fear of invasion by bandits and thieves and also the lack of trade made it difficult to maintain the town. Eventually, the towns were abandoned and buried deep in the sand
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