Caravans and a desert oasis, spice markets and sea
adventures. When the Museum opens its renovated
galleries for temporary exhibitions on Sunday,
December 22, the inaugural exhibition,
the Silk Road: Ancient Pathway to the Modern World
promises to be a thrilling embarkation point. Named
for the treasured fabric that attracted traders along
a network of land routes, the Silk Road stretched
4,600 miles across blazing deserts and snow-covered
mountains, from China through Central Asia and
the Middle East. Visitors who step foot into the
galleries will experience the sounds and scents of
ancient metropolitan hubs from AD 600 to 1200.
They’ll encounter re-creations of bazaars and
artifacts, and engage in hands-on activities that
bring to life this first information superhighway.
Interactive Hubs
In the city of Xi’an, China, where the Silk Road
begins, visitors can see live silkworms spinning
cocoons and scenes of foreign merchants and
musicians bartering in marketplaces. In Turfan,
visitors will happen upon an oasis in the desert.
In Samarkand, they’ll learn about the camels in
their caravan, maybe see a silk brocade, or smell
a packet of fragrant musk. Then, they’ll head
overland to Baghdad, a center of commerce and
scholarship, and finally to a swifter route—the sea.
Pack the caravan early and shop the Silk Road
Store for sweets, silks, spices and more.
Written by Jessica Portner
Silk Road
Is En Route
Traveling the Silk Road: Ancient Pathway to the Modern World
is organized by the American Museum of Natural History, New York (
) in collaboration
with Azienda Speciale Palaexpo, Roma, Italy, and Codice Idee per la cultura srl, Torino, Italy; the Museum at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore; and the National Museum
of Australia, Canberra, Australia and Art Exhibitions Australia; the National Museum of Natural Science, Taichung, Taiwan; and the United Daily News, Taipei, Taiwan.
Save the Date
Silk Road
opens Sunday, December 22.
Member Preview Days for
Silk Road
Wednesday, December 18 to Saturday, December 21.
Silk Road Store opens Friday, November 29.
October/November 2013 
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