Secrets of the Silk Road – Revealed! [Online Chat]

August 14, 2010

The Silk Road, a series of trade routes extending thousands of miles through which people, ideas and goods moved East to West, crossed high mountain ranges and extensive deserts. Its very existence is a testimony to mankind’s never-ending desire to explore.

“The mummies on display in the Silk Road exhibit underscore the great antiquity of these migrations,” said Dirk, our curator of anthropology. “This is what makes this exhibit so interesting.”

Well, that and the 150 stunning, ancient artifacts discovered along this famed passage – including some of the most astonishingly well-preserved human remains ever discovered. Even at 3,800 years old, “The Beauty of Xiaohe” continues to turn heads (see below). Over 100 mummies like her were discovered in China’s Tarim Basin, wearing Western-influenced textiles and possessing surprising technologies and customs. Not only is the identity of these extraordinary people a mystery – but they prove that there was trade in both goods and genes in this region almost 2,000 years before the passage was previously thought to have been in use.

The Beauty of Xiaohe, stunningly well-preserved at 3,800 years old.

So…got questions? I know I do! The Museum is hosting an Online Chat with our curator of anthropology, Dirk Van Tuerenhout, on Tuesday, August 24 at 7 p.m. You can ask questions and get a preview of this astonishing exhibition.

Silk Road Online Chat!
Tuesday, Aug. 24 at 7 pm

Can’t wait? Post your questions in the comments section below! Dirk will address all questions during the event and in a q&a post following it. 

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Authored By Erin B Blatzer

Erin is the Director of Business Development at HMNS. In a past life, she was a public relations and online marketing dynamo at HMNS.

7 responses to “Secrets of the Silk Road – Revealed! [Online Chat]”

  1. Liz Garney says:

    Hi Dirk,
    Just wanted to pop in and say hi and looking forward to Aug 24th. I was with you and the group that went to Peru in 2007. Still use one of my pictures of Machu Picchu as my computer background. What a great trip that was. Any planned in the future?
    Will be listening the 24th, see you then.
    League City, TX

  2. Dirk says:

    Hello Liz,

    Good to hear from you. That was quite a trip. We are currently in the early stages of planning a trip to Egypt. That is scheduled for late 2011. More details when they are available. I will see (or hear from) you on the 24th, I am sure.



  3. Debra Healy says:

    I look forward to listening to the program. I am always seeking to learn more about the world in which we live. Thank you for bringing this to Houston.

  4. Grant McNabb says:

    Hi. Looking forward to the chat.
    From the Book “Uriel’s Machine”, by Christopher Knight and Robert Lomas, Pages 303-309, 1999, there is the best description I know of about the ancient people of the Tarim Basin. I hope you find time to comment on the fabric dating ranges (4500BC to 2000BC); relationships with Europe, migration routes and Celtic clothing; style of hats, perhaps Persian origin; and the nature of the rock carvings in the area of Urumchi. Thanks for the opportunity to comment.

  5. Dirk says:

    Hello Grant,

    Thanks for your reference to the book. For those interested in clothing, I can recommend a May 2010 article by Dr. Mair, entitled “Stylish Hats and Sumptuous Garments from Bronze Age and Iron Age Eastern Central Asia.” It appeared in Orienataions. The magazine for collectors and connoisseurs of Asian art, pp.69 – 72. At the end of the article, you will find additional references.


    Dirk Van Tuerenhout

  6. Linda A. Esch says:

    I am a little confused. Do I actually have to be on-line on Tuesday evening? Or could I check into the Q & A afterwards and read it? Thank you sincerely, Linda A. Esch

  7. Dirk says:

    Hello Linda,

    I received a number of questions after the webinar. I will be submitting my answers to the blog for you and others to read. Thanks for your interest. Did you have a question yourself?

    Dirk Van Tuerenhout

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