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Ancient Pathways

The Silk Road wasn’t just one road but a vast network of land and sea trade routes that started around the 2nd century BCE. It connected the far reaches of China with the Mediterranean Sea, stretching over 4,000 miles through challenging terrains like harsh deserts, towering mountains and fertile plains.

This network was born during China’s Han Dynasty, as they sought profitable trade routes. The name ‘Silk Road’ comes from the lucrative silk trade, but it was more than that. It was a bustling highway where not just goods, but ideas, cultures and religions were exchanged among great civilizations like China, Rome and Persia. This exchange continued for more than a millennium, peaking during China’s golden ages — the Tang and Song dynasties (618-1279 CE).

Drawn from the permanent collection, “Ancient Pathways: A Legacy of Trade” highlights the importance of international commerce and trade via the Silk Road through the art and objects on display.

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