The same museum that inspired Ben Stiller's Night at the Museum movie, the American Museum of Natural History on Central Park West in New York City, has mounted a new exhibition, "Traveling the Silk Road: Ancient Pathway to the Modern World," through August 15, 2010.
Following the trade routes from East to West, it covers six centuries (600-1200 AD), from Xi'an, China to Sarakand and Baghdad, as well as the sea route through the Persian Gulf.
The show includes a live display of spinning silkworms, cocoons and mulberry leaves, illustrating the making of prized silk exchanged for paper, hand-blown glass and spices. A multimedia educational experience, traditional Chinese instruments can be heard as well as the sounds of Mediterranean markets filled with furs, feathers, gems, and jasmine oil.
Life-size camels "walk" through the exhibit which incorporates more than 90 artifacts, including a 7th-century Buddha, a 17-foot-long (5.2 meter) wooden Chinese loom, a working Chinese astrolabe, and a 13th-century Koran.
Musicians from cellist-composer Yo-Yo Ma's renowned Silk Road Project will perform on Sundays.