The Belt and Road Ningxia: Silk Road

Seetao 2023-08-15 09:39
  • Ningxia is an important channel of the ancient Silk Road and an important node on the Silk Road Economic Belt
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At the Ningxia Museum, there are cultural relics that witness the cultural exchange and integration of the ancient Silk Road, waiting for the arrival of visitors. One of the national treasure level cultural relics is the stone carving Hu Xuan Dance Tomb Gate.

The stone carved Hu Xuan Dance Tomb Gate consists of two stone gates, with smooth chiseled facades and shallow relief techniques depicting a vigorous and unrestrained male dancer, both holding long scarves and skillfully swinging and dancing. The shallow relief cloud patterns around the dancers create a flowing and flying artistic effect, making them feel like they are soaring in the clouds. Hu Xuan Dance is a dance from the Western Regions that was introduced to the Central Plains through the Silk Road and became popular in the Tang Dynasty. Mu Shaojuan, Deputy Research Librarian of Ningxia Museum, stated that the stone carved Hu Xuan Dance Tomb Gate not only displays the "Hu Xuan Dance" recorded in historical materials in physical form, but also provides evidence for the fact that the Sogdians migrated to Ningxia along the Silk Road. This is the crystallization of Silk Road culture and a reflection of ethnic migration and integration.

At an important location in the "Silk Road Important Town" exhibition hall of the Ningxia Museum, replicas of national treasure level cultural relics such as gilded gold and silver pots and protruding nail glass bowls are displayed, and their importance and uniqueness are self-evident. The authenticity of these two cultural relics, as the treasure of the town hall, is currently stored in the Guyuan Museum in Ningxia.

What is special about the gilded gold and silver pot? This Persian Dynasty wine vessel was manufactured in the Bactrian region during the Sassanian era and has a history of 1500 years. The carving on the pot tells the story of Greek mythology in the form of a comic book. The overall design of the gilded gold and silver pot combines the style of Persian Sassanian gold and silver artifacts, Greek style, and local elements of Bactria. "Zhang Qiang, Deputy Director of the Guyuan Museum in Ningxia, introduced that among the current unearthed cultural relics, the gilded gold and silver pot is not only unique in China, but also rare among the existing Sassanian gold and silver artifacts in the world.

Unlike the ancient lead barium glass in our country, this convex nail glass bowl unearthed in Guyuan, Ningxia is made of sodium calcium glass and is an "imported product" from the Sassanian dynasty of Persia, which came all the way through the Silk Road. According to Zhang Qiang, this glass bowl reflects the unique style of Sassanian glassware in terms of shape and decoration, as well as exquisite grinding techniques. It is a representative of Sassanian glassware unearthed in China, indicating that Western glassware was imported into China through the Silk Road at that time, and also reflecting the important position of Guyuan as a necessary passage for the eastern and northern sections of the Silk Road in international commercial trade and cultural dissemination at that time.

The camel bells on the Silk Road are leisurely, looking back at the depths of history. Some of the exquisite artifacts from the west to the east have stopped halfway, lived for thousands of years, and remained famous in the world. They witnessed the prosperity of the ancient Silk Road and the prosperity of cultural exchanges between the East and the West, providing an important basis for studying trade and cultural exchanges between China and countries along the Silk Road.Editor/Ma Xue


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