： (Silk Road, Western Regions, China)
The Silk Road was a significant transportation route which started from China and passed across Asia, Africa, and Europe. It was not only the world’s longest trade route, but also a route that was central to the East-West cultural exchanges—it was considered as the main transportation artery of human history. Its formation and development have revealed the long history of Eastern and Western civilizations, depicting the vivid historical pictures of the Sino-West cultural exchanges. Xinjiang (also called Western Regions in ancient times) was the hub of the Silk Road, and a place where the world’s four cultural systems integrated. The various civilizations in the world met here and interacted with each other, which finally gave birth to the inclusive and brilliant Silk Road civilization. Archaeological findings indicate that there were human activities in Xinjiang about fifty thousand years ago during the Paleolithic Age. Since the Bronze Age and the early Iron Age, a broad range of ethnic groups in Xinjiang had already profound relationships with the East and West civilizations due to the Eurasian Steppe route. With the opening of the Silk Road in Han Dynasty and the establishment of Protectorate of the Western Regions, Xinjiang finally became a part of China and its history entered into a new era. Visitors will see exhibits of the cultural relics in ancient Western Regions: simple but beautiful pottery, stunning costumes, archaic and abstruse Buddhist texts, romantic flying aspires, numerous bamboo and wooden slips, and delicate ancient money. Walking around these cultural relics, visitors will appreciate the glorious civilization of its heyday and have a feeling of going back to the ancient Western Regions.
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