Archeology and History of the Silk Road

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Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Alexander The Great Exhibition in the Reiss-Engelhorn Museum Mannnheim


From one of the first travellers from West to East, Alexander the Great, comes a splendid exhibition in the Reiss-Engelhorn Museum In Mannheim, Germany from October 3, 2009 till February 21, 2010.
Alexander the Great and the Opening of the World: Asia’s Cultures in Transition follows the conqueror through Central Asia and focuses on the extensive cultural, economic and social changes unleashed by his passage. The exhibition includes objects lent by Uzbek museums (Samarkand, Tashkent and Ter-mes) and the Tajikistan’s National Museum of Antiquity as well as the Louvre, the British Museum and the Berlin Museums.

Sunday, 24 May 2009

Tang Shipwreck

A 1,200-year-old shipwreck opens a window on ancient global trade.


In the June number of National Geographic again a great story this time from the Tang period.

The following is from the website of www.sentosa.com the owners of the Tang treasure:

The Tang Treasure
The 9th century shipwreck of Arab or Indian origin was laden almost entirely with Chinese trade and imperial ceramics. It was discovered in 1998 in heavily silted international waters between Sumatra and Borneo. Salvaged from the oldest shipwreck found in Southeast Asia, this rare time capsule dating back 1,200 years features some 60,000 well-preserved artefacts of great cultural, archaeological and historical significance. The Tang artefacts have been authenticated by experts from around the world and key pieces are already widely acknowledged to have rewritten maritime history! Today, many renowned historians and collectors are excited to access it and help unravel its many hidden secrets. Singapore's rich sea trading history and geographical position – right at the crossroads of the maritime trading route between Western Indian Ocean and China – make the republic the perfect location to exhibit this magnificent collection of sunken artefacts.


THE TANG TREASURE
The Tang Treasure was discovered in 1998 by Tilman Walterfang in Indonesian waters between Malaysia and Borneo and salvaged from a sunken 9th century Arab or Indian dhow vessel that was probably bound for what is today's Saudi Arabia. These East Asian antiquities – which are causing the world's collecting and museum circles to redefine the boundaries of historical knowledge – make up some 60,000 items intended for trade and an imperial gift. 98% of the collection is made up of ceramic pieces with the balance artefacts made of gold and silver.

This collection was not only meticulously salvaged by stringent archaeological and conservation procedures, but Tilman Walterfang's company Rickshaw Investments has also ensured professional legal licensing and adherence to world salvage processes, even though the waters where the wreck was found are not governed by UNESCO guidelines.

In archaeological terms, the sunken Tang Treasure is generally not regarded as a particularly large collection. However, its significance lies in the rarity of the artefacts within the collection. To retain the integrity of the find, Tilman Walterfang has stipulated that the collection be bid for and purchased as a single lot, despite pressure from several interested parties and auction houses to sell the collection in smaller lots.

Rickshaw Investments' salvage affiliate Seabed Explorations has also paid meticulous attention to historical, archaeological and conservation procedures throughout its operations, unlike standard treasure hunters. It has received top marks from experts who were invited to supervise the processes. News of this discovery only circulated recently because the company had been running the treasures through the painstaking desalination and immersion processes necessary for proper preservation.

Fact Sheet Three

Special significance of the Tang Treasure
This collection of artefacts has been authenticated by experts from around the world and stand out on several counts:

The Tang shipwreck is the earliest South-East Asian ship discovered to date, and only such vessel in the world with a complete load of 9th century cargo. This makes it the largest collection of 9th century artefacts today.
The shipwreck and its cargo map out a seaborne trading route hitherto only speculated about. The overland silk route was common knowledge but this sunken treasure trove establishes China as the first great sea power, 200 years before the Spanish, Portuguese and British had theirs. This sea route is also the longest of that era, not to be surpassed until the Portuguese ventured into Asia in the late 15th century.
It was a known fact that Arab and China were exchanging gifts. However during the 9th century, China's Tang dynasty was paramount. This valuable gift going from China to Arabia further increases the importance of this find. Moreover, many of the gold items have matching pairs, raising speculation of a royal wedding in Arabia. Some of the motifs featured on the artefacts suggest the blending of Arabic and Chinese cultures. Whatever the occasion, the value and immaculate quality of these items demonstrate the fortification of peaceful relations between China and Arabia.
The ship carrying the Tang Treasure featured Arabic ship building technology using Indian timber. This coming together of different cultures has redefined the parameters of our maritime knowledge.
The three well-preserved blue-and-white ceramic plates from the Tang Treasure offer physical proof that this ceramic technology started much earlier than generally thought. This find rewrites the boundaries of our knowledge.

The Valley Of The Khans Project

On November 9 last year I copied an article of the Science Daily about finding the lost tomb of Ghengis Khan by using non-invasive Technologies.
Now there is also a website called The valley of the Khans Project with the latest news about this subject.

To get a feeling with this project, start with this video from end of last year:

Valley of the Khans Expedition Report (November, 2008) from Albert Lin on Vimeo.



Then start listening to Dr. Albert Yu- Min Lin's keynote lecture on March 3, 2009 at UCSD:




Abstract: The story of Genghis Khan has until now been spliced together through a collection of almost entirely secondary source text. It has become understood that throughout his rule, he had introduced an alphabet and central currency, united a kingdom of warring tribes, and had conquered the majority of the known world creating an influence that stretched from Poland to Japan. Yet the mystery that surrounds his death and burial during the summer of 1227 still eludes the world today.

"If the grave exists and if it were ever found, it would create a revolution in archeology, scholarship, cash-flow and, since China claims Genghis as its own, international relations." - John Man, 'Genghis Khan life, death and resurrection,' Bantam Press, 2004.




The objective of this study is to perform a non-invasive archaeological search for the tomb of Genghis Khan utilizing modern tools from a variety of disciplines, including satellite imagery, human computation, computer vision, and non-destructive geophysical surveying. Large arrays of multi-spectral satellite imagery taken of the identified areas of interest are being analyzed to look for possible anomalies within the vast uninhabited landscape of northern Mongolia. These target spots will be subjected to systematic non-invasive geophysical surveying, and electro-magnetic induction (EMI), magnetometry, and ground penetrating radar (GPR) are the geophysical tools that will be applied. Leveraging super-resolution techniques designed to assemble high resolution, high quality digital images from multiple lower resolution images we hope to contribute to the advancement of these tools.

Calit2's extensive research scope provides the perfect platform for this high-tech approach. Massive-scale visual analytics is conducted on Calit2's 1/3rd gigapixel resolution HIPerSpace display and StarCAVE, while analysis through web based human computation platforms are being applied to the overwhelming amount of data. By defining the landscape and creating a baseline of information through the noninvasive imaging we hope to contribute to the knowledge of Genghis Khan and his tomb, which today remains undiscovered, a time capsule into the days of birth of the modern world.

Friday, 22 May 2009

Along the Silk Road in 1905



This article and photograph, I found at daughterofthegoldenwest.blogspot.com !!!

This is from a series of photographs taken by one of the pioneers of color photography, Sergei Prokudin Gorsky. who was sponsored by the Tsar to document life in the Russian Empire.

His lengthy travels took him to Samarkand, the second largest city in Uzbekistan, an historic city that occupied an important position on the Silk Road, between China and the West. In 1220 it was sacked by Mongols under the leadership of the legendary Genghis Khan and didn't come under Russia control until 1868. Today, Samarkand is one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world.

This 1905 picture was originally taken through three different color filters that were later projected together and combined to create the final print. It shows a group of Jewish students and their teacher.

The image is courtesy of the Prokudin-Gorsky collection in the Library of Congress.

Thursday, 21 May 2009

La Route de la Soie' (Silk Road) at the Royal Museums for Art and History, from 23 October 2009 to 14 February 2010


Two wood vases of Western Xia- era silk flowers, discovered in 1986 at the Baisikou twin pagodas in Ningxia.

Pre announcement:
La Route de la Soie' (Silk Road) at the Royal Museums for Art and History in Bruxelles, Belgium, from 23 October 2009 to 14 February 2010

Legends of the Silk Road- Treasures from Xinjiang


I nearly missed this exhibition (December6, 2008- March 15, 2009) in the National Museum of History in Taipei, Taiwan, one of the three big exhibitions this year about the Silk Road this year ( in Sint Petersburg, Taipei and Bruxelles).

The following article is from the website of the museum:


The Silk Road was a trade route that extended for over 7,000 kilometers to connect Asia and the Mediterranean region, starting in the east in Changan (or Luoyang) and ending in the west at Constantinople, the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire. This route passed over mountains, deserts, grasslands, and oases to connect Asia and Europe. It passed through the mighty cross-continental empires of Persia, Macedonia, Rome, and the Ottoman, and many great political and military events of the ancient world are connected to it. This road also spread religions that have influenced billions of people—Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam. The Silk Road spanned over 1,700 kilometers inside China. In the pre-Qin times, many tribes lived in northwestern China and many kingdoms rose and fell in China’s historical border region. In this place called the “Western Territory” in ancient times, an ethnically diverse civilization developed. During the Han and Tang Dynasties, many ethnic groups moved to the northwest and became increasingly powerful. In the time of Han Emperor Wudi, Zhang Qian went to open up the Western Territories, and the campaigns into the Western Territories led by Wei Qing and Huo Qu-Bing finally opened up a road to the Western world. This road sent silk and ceramics from China and gradually brought the civilizations of the Western world into China. This gave it the name of the Silk Road, and its peak period was seen during the Tang Dynasty.

The Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region is located at the vital hub of the Silk Road, and because of its dry climate and special geographical conditions, many thousands of ancient artifacts have been unearthed in good condition by archeologists. There are Loulan beauties, Xiaohe Culture relics and pre-Qin metal vessels, Han and Jin textiles, Wei and Jin wall paintings, and Tang Dynasty silk paintings, which reflect the grandeur of the desert frontier of the ancient Western Territories. These all have great value in terms of the academic study of the trade, transportation, diverse ethnic civilizations, and Chinese-Western interchange of the Silk Road. The artifacts unearthed in Xinjiang are amazing and priceless, and they have been exhibited many times in foreign countries in North America, Europe, and Japan, where they have been seen by millions of visitors.

This exhibition was nine years in the planning, and it will finally be officially opened on December 6 this year, with the cooperation of Media Sphere Communications. The museum has divided its exhibit introductions of the 150 items unearthed by archeological study into five categories based on the cultural features of the artifacts—“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 most important exhibits are the “Loulan Beauty” mummy and the Turpan artifacts from the Tang Dynasty, which are being exhibited for the first time. There are also many other types of objects that give one a glimpse of the beautiful scenes of the ancient world. The assistance of Director Sheng Chun-Shou of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region Bureau of Artifacts, Director Zhang Yu-Zhong of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region Archeology Academy, Director Tian Xian-Hong of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region Museum, and General Manager Li Mei-Ling of Media Sphere Communications, as well as the hard work of our museum staff have contributed greatly to our achievement in bringing this exhibition to fruition.. I would like to take this opportunity to express my deepest thanks and the wish that the exhibition will be a complete success.

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Recent Re-Evaluations of Chinggis Khan and Kubilai Khan


THURSDAY, APRIL 23, 2009

The following article I found at the Blog " This Month in Mongolian Studies" written by Brian White from the American Centre for Mongolian Studies.

I'm not an real expert on this subject but 've read a lot of books, older ones and recent ones about Mongols and Chinggis Khan and agree with Dr. Rossabi that in literature one can observe the same trend of emphasizing the negatives, 20/30 years ago and emphasizing the positives in most literature, published around his 800th birthday.


Re-evaluating Chinggis Khaan
Dr. Rossabi gave his lecture yesterday evening entitled: Recent Re-Evaluations of Chinggis Khaan and Khubilai Khan. Before the lecture the School of Foreign Service at the National University of Mongolia conferred on him the title of "Honary Doctor" and presented him with a doctoral robe, medal, and diploma. It was a well attended event with more than 60 people.

If anyone expected Dr. Rossabi to pull punches during his lecture out of deference to the occasion, they were proven wrong. He gave a rather candid reassessment of his book Khubilai Khan and the recent deification and "vulgarization," as he put it, of the popular image of Chinggis Khaan. It was a brave position to take given the politics involved, but he expressed his concern about exalting the positives of the Mongol Empire and attempting to conceal the negatives of the Mongol conquests. Noting that, of course, this is a response in some respect to a long history in the West of portraying the Mongols unfairly, still he insisted that honest and factual examinations of history are of paramount importance in scholarly research. The facts indicate that there were positives and negatives associated with the Mongol conquests of Eurasia.

It was not an easy argument to make, especially in Mongolia. It made me think of someone standing in front of a group of Americans and suggesting that the way forward in truly understanding American history is accepting, even embracing, the uncomfortable facts about slavery. For many people that would be tantamount to heresy, and in Mongolia suggesting that Chinggis Khaan was a great leader but he was also a ruthless and brutal leader can be very dangerous, indeed. I think Dr. Rossabi was making a very trenchant observation about the need for all people to embrace both the positives and negatives of their history in order to give lasting resilience and credibility to the image that is presented to the rest of the world. Americans who ignore the legacy of slavery risk being branded hypocrites on issues of human rights, and Mongolians who ignore the brutality of the Mongol conquests risk having people not believe the factual positives of Mongol rule.

Dr. Rossabi also added that in re-evaluating Mongolian history, he is somewhat troubled by the fact that other great Mongolians are often neglected in the national consciousness. Mongolian currency, for example, has images of Chinggis Khaan and Sukhbaatar, but not of Natsagdorj, Zanabazar, or others. But, at the same time, he said it was understandable because Chinggis Khaan and Sukhbaatar are Mongolia's great generals, and other countries also find it hard to give space to leaders of the arts and sciences. Hero worship of military leaders is a common phenomenon around the world. I remember the first time I saw a German 5 Mark bill and it had a portrait of Carl Friedrich Gauss. I was impressed to see a mathematician receiving such an honor. But, maybe Germany is one place generals are best left unremembered. In the rest of the world we have a tendency to measure greatness in terms of conquest of the physical environment as opposed to the human mind.

Overall the lecture was enjoyable, most especially for Dr. Rossabi's candid thoughts. He certainly elicited numerous questions at the end of the lecture which poured into the reception afterwards. Congratulations to you Dr. Rossabi for your award and thank you for an informative lecture.

Monday, 18 May 2009


From the site of Museen Dahlem in Berlin we copied the following exhibition news:
1 April - 1 September 2009

If you don't want to read, watch the video from CCTV.com



The newly opened Chinese Cultural Centre (Berlin, Tiergarten) is organising an important exhibition on the art of the world renowned Mogao Caves in Dunhuang at the eastern hub of the Silk Road. Copies of two of the rock-cut temples have been recreated to original size and are now to go on view for the first time in Berlin.

Concurrent to the Musée Guimet's activities in Paris, the Museum of Asian Art is planning to host an exhibition to accompany the project, in which objects from the famous Turfan Collection will go on show to reveal the various close ties between the oasis towns of the Northern Silk Road. These objects are visually stunning and include silk fragments with ornamental patterns, fragments of paintings adorned with gold and clay sculptures. The accompanying texts in the exhibition rooms will shed new light in elucidating the close ties between the various workshops and reveal the cultural exchange that occurred in terms of iconography and style.

Going towards the concept entitled ‘On the way to the Humboldt Forum', this small exhibition will also serve as a model of things to come: as a joint cooperation not only with the new Chinese Cultural Centre in Berlin, but also with the Turfan Studies Academy Project of the Berlin Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften. Experts from the field of Turfan studies will place texts (manuscripts) and pictures in their relation to each other which will serve to guide people round the exhibition.

Until the middle of 2009, the International Dunhuang Project (IDP-CREA) will also be accessible on-line with a host of original photos, glass plate slides and drawings from the important historical photo collection available on the websites of the International Dunhuang Project (British Library, London) and our own picture archive.

The temporary show also accompanies the exhibition, ‘Transformations of Compassion - The Metamorphosis of a Buddhist Holy Figure', which is on display in the adjoining room.


In 2005, the curator (Dr. Lilla Russell-Smith) published a book on this particular subject (entitled: ‘Uygur Patronage in Dunhuang: Regional Art Centres on the Northern Silk Road', Leiden: Brill), and now for the first time ever, by way of several concrete examples, many interesting findings from her many years of research will also be made available to the wider general public.

On the Trail of Texts Along the Silk Road: The Russian Expedition's Discovery of Manuscripts in Central Asia

Kyoto National Museum
July 14 to September 6, 2009


This is a continuation of the exhibition shown in St Petersburg from December to April (details in IDP News 31 and in my weglog from January), showcasing many of the manuscripts discovered on the Russian explorations in Central Asia.

The poster itself, announcing the exhibition is a jewel by the way !!!


Thursday, 14 May 2009

SILK ROAD NEWSLETTER VOLUME 6 NUMBER 2



It has taken a while but it is out again, the latest issue of the Silk Road Newsletter from the Silk Road Foundation ( but in fact from Daniel Waugh, Editor Professor Emeritus, University of Washington, Seattle).

65 pages with new articles which can't be found anywhere else.
For the full text click: Silk Road Newsletter Volume 6 Number 2.



CONTENTS:



Korea and the Silk Roads,
by Staffan Rosén 3
The connections of Korea with the Silk Road often have been ignored. Objects buried in Korean tombs, especially those of the Silla Dynasty period, indicate important connections between the Korean peninsula and the cultures to the north and west. In particular there is evidence of connections with shamanistic traditions of peoples in North Asia. Also, there are imported objects such as glassware from West Asia.


Alexander the Great and the Emergence of the Silk Road,
by Yang Juping 15
It is common in explaining the origin of the Silk Road to cite the initiatives of Han Emperor Wudi, who sent his envoy Zhang Qian to the west in the 2nd century BCE. This article argues that the conquests of Alexander the Great in the 4th century BCE and the consequent spread of Hellenistic culture to the East were of equal significance in preparing the way for the opening of the Silk Roads.


Centaurs on the Silk Road: Recent Discoveries of Hellenistic Textiles in Western China,
by Robert A. Jones 23
Among the spectacular archaeological finds of recent decades in the Tarim Basin are wool textiles, some of which are decorated with Hellenistic motifs. This article explores the possible connections of two such finds, from Sampul and from Yingpan. The focus is on the artistic analogies in the Hellenistic West.


Dialogue among the Civilizations: the Origin of the Three Guardian Deities' Images in Cave 285, Mogao Grottoes,
by Zhang Yuanlin 33
Mogao Cave 285 at Dunhuang is known for its complex “multi-cultural” imagery. The author argues that key imagery on the west wall of the cave (in particular the depictions of sun and moon deities and of Maheshvara) and some of the donor identifications point to possible Sogdian involvement in the decoration of the cave.

Eighteen Songs of a Nomad Flute: Possible Religious Symbolism within the Late-Song Paintings,
by Lauren Arnold 49
The Eighteen Songs of a Nomadic Flute concern the tragic tale of a Han princess who was taken captive by the Xiongnu, raised a family among them, and then had to leave her family behind and return to China. This episode was the subject of paintings, whose dates have been disputed. The author argues for a date in the middle of the 13th century, at a time when in China details of nomadic culture would have been well known and when a presence of Eastern Christians among the Inner Asian nomads might help explain why cross motifs are to be found in the carpets the paintings depict.


Shrine Pilgrimage among the Uighurs,
by Rahilä Dawut 56
Pilgrimage to Islamic shrines is an important feature of Uighur culture in southern Xinjiang. The author describes a range of such shrines and explains the specifics of worship at them. She emphasizes the likely connection of the Islamic shrines and worship with pre-Islamic shamanistic and Buddhist beliefs in the same regions.

IDP Newsletter No. 32 is out !!!

Out allready for some weeks is the latest newsletter (No.32) from IDP (The International Dun huang Project).

For anyone with a serious interst in Silk Road related articles a MUST read.


The contents of this issue in headlines is following:

- Archaeology in Xinjiang
- A Century On: Documenting Archaeological Sites in Xinjiang
- Berlin Researchers in Turfan
- New Discoveries and Research on Khotan
- Celebrating the 2009 International Year of Astronomy
- Understanding the Dunhuang Star Chart
- Recent Publications on Xinjiang Archaeology and Travel
- Exhibitions
- IDP UK

Go straight to the IDP newsletter by clicking: IDP

NOBLE TOMBS AT MAWANGDUI: Art and Life in the Changsha Kingdom


















Lacquer Flanged Cup with Cloud Pattern and Inscriptions "Jun Xing Jiu" and "Si Sheng," Western Han dynasty (206 BCE - 9 CE). Paint, wood, 27.5x 22.3 cm. Excavated 1972, Han Tomb I, Mawangdui, Changsha, Hunan Province. Hunan Provincial Museum.



It's a pity, when living in Europe that many of the finest exhibitions are on tour solely in the USA. This exhibition is no exception. It has started in the China Institute Gallery in New York and will go to the Santa Barabara Museum of Art from September 19 till December 13, 2009.Many can still remember the first photo's and reports in the magazines and the papers about the sensational find of the tomb of Lady Dai

Treasures for the Afterlife on View at China Institute Gallery from
February 12 through June 7, 2009





New York, December, 2008—More than two thousand years ago, a Chinese marquis and his family began their plans for the afterlife with three lavish tombs in Hunan Province which were excavated in the 1970s. Their extraordinary existence will come to life in NOBLE TOMBS AT MAWANGDUI: Art and Life in the Changsha Kingdom, Third Century BCE to First Century CE at China Institute Gallery from February 12 through June 7, 2009. For the first time in the U.S., nearly 70 treasures including bronze sculptures, lacquer ware, jade ornaments, seals, wood carvings and silk costumes will be on view from the Hunan Provincial Museum. A fully-illustrated bilingual catalogue will accompany the exhibition.

The excavation at Mawangdui in Hunan Province in Southeastern China is considered one of the major archaeological discoveries of the 20th century. Containing the remains and possessions of the Marquis of Dai and his wife and son, the tombs were found between 1972 and 1974 in the archaeological site of Mawangdui, which is located in a suburb of the modern city of Changsha. More than 3,000 objects from the Western Han dynasty (206 BCE to 25 CE) were found in nearly perfect condition representing the highest levels of workmanship.

“People during the Han dynasty regarded death as birth and longed for immortality,” notes Willow Hai Chang, Director, China Institute Gallery. “To prepare for the afterlife, they constructed their tombs to be eternal residences. As a result of this landmark excavation, we now have a rare window into the fascinating Han civilization through these remarkable objects of the highest artistry.”




Exhibition Highlights
Among the highlights of NOBLE TOMBS AT MAWANGDUI: Art and Life in the Changsha Kingdom, Third Century BCE to First Century CE are five charming wooden figurines of musicians which seem to form a small family band and perhaps indicate the importance of song and dance to the tomb occupant. The figures are painted in black and vermilion to depict their faces and colorful gowns.

Also indicating the importance of music to the family, the exhibition includes a seven-stringed qin, a musical instrument first played for entertainment and then as a solo instrument played by scholar-poets to “harmonize the emotions.” By the Song dynasty (960-1279 CE), qin-playing was among the “four accomplishments” of the scholar-gentleman along with painting, calligraphy and Chinese chess. In literati belief, the qin went beyond all other forms of art – musical or visual – in its mysterious power to harmonize the soul and purify the mind. The is the first Han dynasty qin ever discovered in China and the first “half box shaped” qin ever seen.

A two-tiered cosmetic box containing nine small boxes is thought to have belonged to Lady Dai. The outer surface of the box is coated with black lacquer and then affixed with patterned gold foil. The interior of the box is coated with vermilion lacquer. The top tier of the box contained a silk scarf, a belt and a silk mirror case with embroidery representing longevity. The nine small boxes in the lower tier contained items that can be found on many women’s dressing tables: cosmetics, rouge, silk powder pads, combs and a needle case.

The exhibition also offers extraordinary textiles including an example of gauze with a printed and painted design which represents the world’s earliest silk fabric combining both printing and painting discovered to date. The design depicts a plant with vines, buds, flowers and leaves, reflecting an extremely advanced level of technique. Another piece of stunning gauze is printed with a flame pattern in gold and silver representing the earliest silk fabric printed in three color block printing.

The tombs at Mawangdui contained a stunning amount of information in the form of books and tablets on health, well-being, and longevity. One tablet inscribed with Chinese characters refers to dried soybean seeds that have germinated and were used in the treatment of headache, paralysis, asthma and other health problems. Also found was a book, Prescriptions for Maintaining Health, which was written on silk and contains 32 different medical prescriptions including advice on sexual relations. Both the tablet and sections from the book are included in the exhibition.

The exhibition is curated by Chen Jianming, Director, Hunan Provincial Museum, who also edited the catalogue, and is organized by Project Director Willow Hai Chang, Director, China Institute Gallery.

If you want to find out more about Mawangdui, watch the following movies ( in Chinese !!)

Discovery Mawangdui
Han Tomb unearthed at Mawangdui