Dunhuang Museum, with a large collection of cultural relics from Mogao Grottoes and local items, is a great place to learn the history of Silk Road and cultural exchange between China and West.
Situated in Dunhuang, an important trade center on the Silk Road, Dunhuang Museum reflects the history and cultural exchange between China and the West in ancient times. The three-storey museum contains more than 4,000 pieces of Chinese and Tibetan cultural relics such as such as manuscripts from Cave 17 of Mogao Grottoes.
The theme of the museum is indicated by a group of sculptures depicting people leading the camels as they travel along the Silk Road. The exhibition in the museum is composed of three thematic areas.
Exhibitions in the Dunhuang Museum
The first section mainly exhibits the cultural relics found in the "Sutras Cave" (No.17 cave) of Mogao Grottoes. The manuscripts of sutras in Chinese and Tibetan reflect the development of Buddhism in ancient China.
The second section mainly display the cultural relics unearthed from the tombs of Han (206B.C.-220), Three Kingdoms (220-280), Jin (265-420), Sui (581-618) and Tang (618-907) dynasties. Items include stone tablet, stone pagoda, pottery articles, beast figures guarding tombs, and bricks with relief sculpture of lotus or Kylin (an animal in ancient Chinese mythology which can drive monsters or evil away). The Kylin brick, the most rear one, features a kind of high-relief with four hoofs soaring like a galloping horse.
The third section provide evidence of the Silk Road with a number of silk products, also provides valuable material on the study of cultural exchange between China and west with bamboo slips in Han Dynasty, iron and copper tools as well as weapons.
In addition, there is also exhibition of Great Wall of Han Dynasty as well as paintings and calligraphy work of well-known artists through the ages. A trip to Dunhuang Museum ensures visitors have a better understanding of the history and culture of Chinese people and ancient Chinese civilization.
Reviews of Dunhuang Museum
Excellent presentation in a very clean, well laid out museum, just moved on the road to the dunes. If you cannot spend a day to Mogao, at least spend an hour here (and go take a drink on the terrace of the Silk Road Hotel)
Huge new museum for the history of Dunhuang. Lots of maps, but mostly in Chinese. You can get a better idea of the Hexi Corridor if you can read Chinese.