DENVER—Nov. 3—Traveling the Silk Road, which brings to life the most celebrated trade route in human history through evocative sights, sounds, scents, and objects, opens at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science on Friday, November 21. Named for the treasured fabric that attracted traders from around the world, the Silk Road stretched from the far reaches of China all the way to the Roman Empire, not merely as a conduit for material goods but also for scientific knowledge, technological advances, folklore, art, and religious beliefs.
The immersive experience tells the dramatic story of the route’s golden age, from AD 600 to 1200, and its enduring influence. It features a charismatic cast of characters, such as Marco Polo, Tang emperors, traders, bandits, merchants, intellectuals, and pilgrims. It has the enticing goods that defined the route—gold, art, glass, fur, wine, spices, dyes, and silk. Traveling the Silk Road tells stories of the mighty and the meek, of wars and peace, of scholarship and commerce, of the ancient pathway that led to the modern world.
The exhibition guides visitors on a 5,700-mile journey across blazing deserts and snowy mountain passes as they explore five cities that flourished at the time: Xi’an, ancient capital of China; Turfan, a fertile oasis; Samarkand, a grand city of commerce; Baghdad, the scholarly center of the Islamic world; and Constantinople, eastern capital of the Roman Empire.
Visitors will experience an array of wonders: a vivid full-scale re-creation of a night market in Turfan, a display of live silkworms and a massive replica of a Tang-era loom from China, astronomy tools that helped mariners navigate the seas, historical enactors who set the stage and bring this era to life, and a 41-foot-long replica of an Arabian sailing ship carrying priceless cargo. Digital animation brings ancient tales to life, interactive maps and activities illustrate the incredible diversity of the route’s landscape and cultures, and spectacular objects from museum collections around the globe, including the Denver Museum, show why the routes were so successful.
“The Museum is committed to bringing the world to Denver, and Traveling the Silk Road is one of the best examples of how to do this,” said George Sparks, President and CEO of the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. “Long before wireless communication and overnight deliveries, the Silk Road connected humanity. This exhibition takes many strands of history and braids them into an amazing story that helps makes sense of the world today.”
Traveling the Silk Road is organized by the American Museum of Natural History, New York (www.amnh.org), in collaboration with Azienda Speciale Palaexpo, Roma, Italy and Codice; Idee per la cultura srl, Torino, Italy; the Museum at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore; the National Museum of Australia, Canberra, Australia and Art Exhibitions Australia; and the National Museum of Natural Science, Taichung, Taiwan and United Daily News, Taipei, Taiwan.
A press event will be held on Friday, Nov. 21, at 10 a.m. Reporters will have the chance to tour the exhibit following the event.
For more information, visit www.dmns.org/silkroad.
About the Denver Museum of Nature & Science
The Denver Museum of Nature & Science is the Rocky Mountain Region’s leading resource for informal science education. Our mission is to be a catalyst and ignite the community’s passion for nature and science. The Museum envisions an empowered community that loves, understands, and protects our natural world. As such, a variety of engaging exhibits, discussions and activities help Museum visitors celebrate and understand the wonders of Colorado, Earth, and the universe. The Museum is located at 2001 Colorado Blvd., Denver, CO, 80205. To learn more about the Museum, visit dmns.org, or call 303.370.6000. Many of the Museum’s educational programs and exhibits are made possible in part by the citizens of the seven-county metro area through the Scientific & Cultural Facilities District. Connect with the Museum on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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