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THE SILK ROAD IN NINGXIA
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13 Dec 2008 - 15 Mar 2009

The exhibition is jointly presented by the University Museum and Art Gallery, The University of Hong Kong and the Ningxia Cultural Relics Bureau. On display are over 100 items of artefacts dating from the Northern Wei (386-534) to Ming (1368-1644) dynasties, which are on loan from the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region Museum, Guyuan Museum and Ningxia Hui Nationality Museum. They include pottery figures, ceramics, metal works, stone sculptures, wood carvings as well as some Sassanian and Byzantine coins. The majority of these exhibits are important archaeological findings of the last three decades.

The northwest Silk Road was the most important overland route linking ancient China with the outside world. Foreigners and other non-Chinese ethnic minorities entered Gansu via Xingjiang, turning southeast towards Ningxia and Shaanxi. The Ningxia section of the route had particular strategic significance because of its proximity to the political and economic centre of Chang'an (Xi'an).

In spite of warfare, the Han Chinese traded with the ethnic minorities that occupied Ningxia, exchanging ceramics, tea and silk for pearls, jade, oxen and horses. In the Song dynasty (960-1279), the Tanguts rose to power taking control of Ningxia and building the Western Xia Empire (1032-1227). Buddhism was prevalent in Nignxia during the Western Xia period. Later, with the spread of Islam through Central Asia, Ningxia became the home of the Muslim Hui people in the Yuan dynasty (1271-1368).

 

Glass bowl 

 Northern Zhou dynasty (557-581) 

 H: 8 cm, Diam (mouth): 9.5 cm 

 Unearthed from the tomb of Li Xian and his wife in Shengou village, western Guyuan in 1983 

 

Painted pottery figures of warriors 

 Northern Zhou dynasty (557-581) 

 H: 18.2 cm 

 Unearthed from the tomb of Li Xian and his wife in Shengou village, western Guyuan in 1983 

 

Fragment of a stone stele 

 Western Xia dynasty (1032-1227) 

 L: 27 cm, W: 22.5 cm 

 Unearthed from the district of Western Xia tomb, Yinchuan in 1974 

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