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Jiayuguan Museum showcases full sense of the Great Wall's unique history

07-19-2012 09:32 BJT

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There may be no better place than Jiayuguan to embark on a Great Wall journey. But getting a full sense of the wall’s history will require a trip to the Jiayuguan Museum of the Great Wall. A first of its kind, it opened up in 1989.

The museum’s main building mimics a typical beacon tower from the Great Wall, except that this one covers more than 12,000 square meters. In inscription at the entrance describes the Great Wall as "the soul of the Chinese nation." And the museum aims to prove that.

Xie Shengliang, museum interpreter, said, “The Great Wall dates from when the Qin Dynasty unified China. It stretches a hypothetical ten thousand Li from East to West. Different parts of the wall have been constructed over the course of numerous dynasties over 2000 years. The different parts of wall stretch from here in Jiayuguan in the West all the way to the pass called Shanhaiguan in the East. Here visitors can learn about the Great Wall through a variety of mediums, such as authentic artifacts, charts, models, diagrams, texts and pictures. The exhibits also provide rich information for Great Wall researchers.”

On display are archaeological findings and artifacts related to the Great Wall, in particular those unearthed at Jiayuguan.

In inscription at the entrance describes the great wall as "the soul of the Chinese
nation."

Xie Shengliang, museum interpreter, said, “This unicorn is the star exhibit of our museum, and also its largest bronze piece. It’s very ancient, dating back to as far as 1700 years. It was unearthed at a huge tomb complex in Jiayuguan, just 31 kilometers from here. It was made to ward off the evil spirits and protect the tomb chamber from collapse. In the late Eastern Han Dynasty, it was also a symbol of the judicial fairness of the imperial court."

There are also a great number of exhibits related to the military offense and defense. A life-sized fortification shows how the soldiers lured enemies into traps to attack them with cannons. Ancient weapons on display include swords, spears and shields along with bombs and gun powder. Visitors are also able to see how the ancient soldiers dressed.

Since Jiayuguan is the only city in China which boasts a mixture of cultures both from the Great Wall and the Silk Road - another important part of the exhibition is dedicated to that. It was not only goods that were traded along the ancient trade route. New thoughts, ideas, arts and sciences were exchanged between China and the West. The museum’s life-sized wax figures depict these scenes.

The museum also displays the important archaeological finds of broader Gansu Province. These bronze chariots were discovered in a Han Tomb in 1969 and are the most intact set of their kind discovered thus far.

If you ever had any question that the great wall had a massive role to play in China’s and world history. Well, this museum should put that to bed.

Since Jiayuguan is the only city in China which boasts a mixture of cultures
both from the Great Wall and the Silk Road, another important part of the
exhibition is dedicated to that.

The museum also displays the important archaeological finds of broader Gansu Province.

A life-sized fortification shows how the soldiers lured enemies into traps to attack them
with cannons.

Editor:Wang Chuhan |Source: CNTV.CN

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