|Silk embroidery probably began as soon as silk was discovered to take dyes so well. Very early examples of silk embroidery have been discovered in tombs dating back to the bronze age. These were relatively simple examples compared to the techniques developed during the Han Dynasty (206 BC - 221 AD). This was the first age of great trading along what would be called the Silk Road. The economic development and spread of wealth throughout the region meant that artisans had more support for their work and they responded to the opportunity. Elaborate birds, flowers, scenes, and patterns were used to enliven everything from belts to hats to whole garments. Many of the traditional patterns used today were developed duing the Han.