Sat, Dec 06, 2008 - Page 2 News List

History museum to exhibit Silk Road’s ancient treasures

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA

More than 150 works of art and relics unearthed in Xinjiang, China, including the mummy “Loulan Beauty,” will be displayed in Taipei to showcase the cultural diversity of the Silk Road, the exhibition’s curators said yesterday.

Titled “Legends of the Silk Road — Treasures from Xinjiang,” the exhibition will give the public an idea of the cultures that converged on the ancient trade route, said Huang Yung-chuan (黃永川), director of the National Museum of History.

Huang said the works of art, well-preserved thanks to the dry climate in western China, have great academic value for the study of trade, transportation and Chinese-Western exchanges on the Silk Road.

They will also allow a glimpse into the diverse customs and traditions of ancient civilizations, such as ancient funeral rites, he said.

The most eye-catching exhibit is the “Loulan Beauty” mummy, which dates back 3,800 years, he said.

The mummy is the remains of an Indo-European female who was between 40 and 45 years of age when she died.

She was unearthed lying on her side as though in sleep, a tuft of hair falling across her head and ragged moccasins on her feet.

The mummy was discovered in the 1980s in the ancient Loulan region along China’s Silk Road in Xinjiang Province.

“Through the current exhibition, we hope the distance between Xinjiang and Taiwan can be narrowed, and that Taiwanese can have a better understanding of Xinjiang and the cultures of the Silk Road,” Huang said.

The exhibition will also include pre-Qin metal vessels, textiles dating back to the Han Dynasty and later, funeral objects found in the Xiaohe Cemetery and paintings on silk from the Tang Dynasty.

The museum divided the 150 items into five categories: the beauty of the Silk Road, the traces of the Silk Road, the wonders of the Silk Road, the ancient kingdoms of the Silk Road and the gods of the Silk Road.

The exhibition will be held from today until March 15 at the National Museum of History.

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