The Silk Road began in the XIII century BC, when emissaries of the Han Dynasty of China made contact with kingdoms in central Asia. This East-West trade route would profoundly affect world history, from silk to spices to inventions such as gunpowder, printing blocks, and the water wheel.
It became the best and the most valued channel of the civilization. Of the two primary routes, the Northern goes directly through Georgia. Indeed somewhere here is where traders got off their riverboats and began to walk by mule and camel.