HANGZHOU, China, June 23, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — On June 18, 2021, China National Silk Museum opened a fascinating new Silk Road themed exhibition entitled, Creation from Creature: Plants and Animals on the Silk Roads. Based on two scholarly masterpieces, Sino-Iranica and The Golden Peaches of Samarkand, the exhibition is divided into a preface and four major units, systematically showcasing the communication and dissemination of animal and plant species along the Silk Road.
The exhibition echoes the theme of this year’s Silk Road Week: Cultural Diversity and Sustainable Development and features natural specimens, cultural relics such as figurines or animal-pattern bronze mirrors and murals of ancient royal gardens. The space feels authentic creating a genuine feeling of home for the Silk Road animals. With solid support from the Zhejiang Museum of Natural History, the royal zoo of the ancient emperors is also successfully displayed.
The prologue explains the crops and livestock most familiar to us nowadays traveled through the Silk Road during earlier cultural transmission and exchanges. Unit One, From Nature to Divinity, talks about ancient animal worship from primitive tribal life. Unit Two, Countless Camel Bells Jingle across the Desert, introduces the history of well-known pack animals of the Silk Road, such as heavenly horses, Tujue horses and the camel, which became the primary means of logistical transportation for army and civilian commerce between Central Asia and the Central Plains.
Unit Three, The Shanglin Park for Exotic Goods from Foreign Lands, presents a wealth of exotic goods from foreign lands presented in imperial palaces including lions, elephants, peacocks, pomegranates, dates, golden peaches, or goods such as gold and silverware, even arts such as the dance known as the Sogdian Whirl. Unit Four, The Silk Road Changes Lives, an ancient fair similar to the Tang Dynasty West Market or a border bazaar, it displays numerous foods, spices, and medicines from across the world that spread along the expanding Silk Roads.
And last but certainly not least, this multisensory experience features an array of "scents". The Silk Road is also known as the Spice Road and with the aroma of the alfalfa plant to the fragrance of pomegranates, the exhibition is full of memorable flavors that serve to deepen people’s understanding of the ecological diversity and cultural inclusion of the Silk Road.