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The Mogao Caves were a key stop along the Silk Road throughout China's ancient history.

Does this sentence sound natural? I don't know if it refers to “throughout the history of ancient Chinese Silk Road” here?

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    It refers to the early history of China, and assumes that the reader knows that the Silk Road has existed from those early times. Aug 18, 2020 at 16:08

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The Mogao Caves were a key stop along the Silk Road throughout China's ancient history.

It sounds natural, but it doesn't mean "ancient history of Chinese Silk Road".

The phrase "throughout China's ancient history" modifies the entire sentence. The meaning is the same if the word order is changed to this:

Throughout China's ancient history, the Mogao Caves were a key stop along the Silk Road.

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