The newest exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History let’s you travel one of history’s most important highways. The exhibit, “Traveling the Silk Road”, showcases the products, technologies, cultures and religions that populated this trading route, how ideas and goods were shared, and how that truly changed the ancient world. It is open now, through April 2010, and you don’t need a camel or a passport to travel this ancient road.
The exhibit focuses on four main cities along the Silk Road —
- Xi’an, China’s Tang Dynasty capital, most famous today for its Terra Cotta Warriors;
- Turfan, a verdant oasis and trading outpost in the desert, with sophisticated water towers;
- Samarkand, home of prosperous merchants who thrived on the caravan trade;
- Baghdad, a fertile hub of commerce and scholarship that became the intellectual center of the ancient era
There are life-size displays of a fully-loaded camel, known as the ‘ship of the desert’, and a full-size Arab trading ship, since the Silk Road was also a water route in places. And free concerts by performers of Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Project.
As always, this American Museum of Natural History exhibit is fascinating for visitors of any age, from grade school to grandparent.