From March till July recently was in the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana the beautiful exhibition "Secret of the Silk Road" (Whoever missed this once in a lifetime opportunity, there is a second chance when this exhibition visits the Penn Museum in Philadelphia from February 5 till June 5 2011).
On YouTube some very vivid videos were published relating to the preparation of this exhibition:
The arrival of "The Beauty of Xiahoe", a Bronze Age Caucasian mummy whose origin, culture and fate remains a mystery, but whose existence extends the history of the Silk Road back over 2000 years and redefines the ancient world.
For the very first time, three well-preserved mummies from the Tarim Basin in western China have been brought to the United States. Bowers Museum offers the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to come face to face with Yingpan Man's lavish tomb goods and personal belongings including Roman glass, bow and arrows for protection, a satin perfumed sash and fine silk clothing.
Our final inspection and packing of objects for Secrets of the Silk Road took us back to Beijing where we spent half of a day at the World Art Museum. A gold funerary mask decorated with ruby-colored stones was definitely a highlight and especially the incredible Yingpan Man, an actual Silk Road trader whose clothing and funeral mask were very fine in quality. His robe's pattern appears Mediterranean in influence and even the pillow his head rests upon is exquisite in construction and design. The short movie below captures some of the highlights of the day.
Elizabeth Barber, author of "The Mummies of Urumchi" and noted scholar on the subject of ancient textiles, discusses the importance of the recent Bowers Museum Exhibition "Secrets of the Silk Road".