Xinjiang Autonomous Region Museum is a must-see for Silk Road aficionados. The highlight of the museum is the locally famous ‘Loulan Beauty’, one of the 3600-year-old desert-mummified bodies of Indo-European ancestry.
The display of ancient corpses is the highlight of Xinjiang Museum, for it is in this region that a great number of ancient and well-preserved remains discovered. These are quite different from the mummies in Egypt that were created by skilled embalming procedures. The Xinjiang corpses were dried by the particular natural environment. In all there are twenty-one specimens in the collection including men, women, lovers, and generals. The “Loulan beauty” is among the best preserved and most famous ones in the museum. The “Loulan beauty” has a reddish brown skin, thick eyelashes, charming large eyes, and long hair. This particularly “charming” corpse has survived for an estimated 4,000 years.
Other exhibits include pictures, life-like models, artifacts of architecture, production tools, costumes, daily necessities and stationary, which showed traditional cultures of 12 minority nationalities in Xinjiang, such as the Uygur, Kazak, Mongolian, and Russian.
There has long been crossroads for many different kinds of people. Their diversity of scripts and cultures is exhibited in this museum through archaeological material including documents in some twelve different scripts with a particularly large number from the Han Dynasty found at Turfan. The documents cover military, economic, cultural, and political affairs. Clay or terracotta sculptures are also featured in the Xinjiang Museum. Among those are single-humped Central Asian camels, fat and vigorous Yuan-dynasty horses, women figurines in all postures, impressively fierce soldiers and so on.
Location: No. 132, Xibei Road, Urumqi
Transportation: Take Bus No. 7. The museum stop is the 4th stop going northward after the stop at Red Hill (Hongshan) Park.
Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday:
From 10:00 to 18:00 (Apr. 15 to Oct. 15; last entry at 17:00)
From 10:30 to 18:00 (Oct. 16 to Apr. 14; last entry at 17:00)
1. The museum accepts 2000 people a day, five times with 400 people each. Ticket issuing time is 10:00, 11:00, 12:00, 15:00, and 16:00 in summer and 10:30, 11:30, 12:30, 15:00, and 16:00 in winter.
2. The site is closed on Monday (postponed when meeting a legal national holiday), on the New Year's Eve, the first and second day of the lunar new year.
3. Close on the above-mentioned time, the Exhibition Room of the ancient corpses is also not open to the public on every Thursday and Sunday.