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However, it is much harder to identify the way through which plants and animals were distributed, by what roads and what means they arrived at one place or another, who brought them and who diffused them.
Even for the most important and prestigious ones, many uncertainties persist.
This could have been the case of narcissus, which was greatly successful, as will be described hereinafter.
Journeys also highly contributed to introducing new plants : one of the most famous Chinese travels is that of Chang Ch’ien – who was ascribed many fruit introductions – in the early times of the Han, the Egyptian expedition of Ramses II (1298-1235) in Bactriana (Rolland 1968 : 102), the travels of the Greek Skylax of Karyanda in 512 BC, and especially the expedition of Alexander, which lasted 8 years (331-323 BC) and to whom many introductions were attributed, and finally the Roman travels – a delegation docked in AD 166 in a port now known as Ha Tinh, in Central Vietnam (Pelliot 1921 : 141). This was the case of the battle of Talas (Fergana), in 751, when General Ziyad ibn Salih – leader of the Khurasan army of Abû Muslim – defeated the Chinese army, which was composed of his many compatriots living in this rich Fergana Valley.
Bulb plants, like narcissus, were very easily transported.
In addition, of course, plants were diffused with birds, rodents; and fabrics, clothes, animal furs, etc. The introduction may also have been done with tributes, the ambassador’s gifts; a new plant or animal was offered to the emperor of China who had a garden, a park with all the animals and exotic and prestigious plants (Schafer 1968).
When the Arabs were in Canton in the eighth century, there were social fluctuations, changes in the political balance that led to the closure of sea roads and thus to reinforcing land roads On these roads, animals strode, plants and precious products were transported, such as lapis lazuli, the mines of which were in Sar-e-Sang, in Badakhshan, province of Afghanistan, 250 km north-west of Kabul, and whose trade can be dated to 3000 BC : it was found in the treasure of the queen Pu-abi in Ur, 2600 years BC, and decorated the mask of Tutankhamun (died 1327).
Following this disaster, the Chinese never again occupied this western country they had conquered since the second century AD (Miller 1969 : 252).