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Traveling the Silk Road

On view September 28, 2019 – January 5, 2020

Go Back in Time 1,000 Years and Still Make it Home for Dinner

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Step 1,000 years back in time to experience the sights, sounds, and stories of the greatest trading route in history – the legendary Silk Road. Immersive re-creations of ancient settings feature life-size models, artifacts, and hands-on activities, telling the story of the route’s extraordinary golden age and its influence on the world. This exciting exhibit explores a time when the information superhighway was a network of land routes that stretched 4,600 miles across blazing desert sands and snowy mountain passes.


  • Wander through a re-creation of a night market in Turfan and discover stalls overflowing with the goods—including sapphires, silks, jades and rubies, furs and peacock feathers, and fruits and spices—that would have captivated travelers over a thousand years ago during the city’s heyday.
  • Come nose-to-nose with three life-size camel models decked out in full caravan regalia and loaded with trade goods amid a scenic backdrop depicting a landscape of sand dunes.
  • Enjoy a story in Samarkand where a computer-animated book brings to life tales that travelers might have told along the Silk Road, such as The Goose that Laid the Golden Eggs or The Lion and the Hare.
  • Walk through a 41-foot long replica of the prow of a full-sized model Arab dhow sailing ship, split in half to reveal the priceless cargo of ceramics and elaborate metalwork that would have been traded or transported from workshops in China during the Tang dynasty.
  • See a massive replica of a Tang-era loom (which, at 17-feet long and 9.5-feet high, is still only 80 percent the size of a full-size loom) from the China National Silk Museum in Hangzhou, which demonstrates the final step of weaving fabric from silk thread.

Cost: Included with general museum admission and CityPASS. Members FREE.

Education Guide (created by American Museum of Natural History)

Sponsored by

Isdell Family Foundation


The Devereaux F. and Dorothy M. McClatchey Foundation

Traveling the Silk Road is organized by the American Museum of Natural History, New York ( in collaboration with the ArtScience Museum, Singapore; Azienda Speciale Palaexpo, Roma, Italy and Codice. Idee per la cultura srl, Torino, Italy; 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.