Turpan Museum is one of the major museums in Xinjiang Province of China and a first-rate national museum as well.
Located at the town center, Turpan Museum houses a great collection of cultural relics over food, gold, silver, ceramic, ancient passports as well as the wonderful paraceratherium fossils (fossils of a kind of huge rhino) and mummies make the museum world–renowned. Touring the museum could be an indispensable way to both explore West China’s history and broaden one’s horizon.
The paraceratherium fossils are the key highlight of the entire museum. It was discovered in 1993 when upgrading the Lanzhou-Xinjiang railway line at the spot of Feiyue Railway Station in east of Turpan. Archaeologists believed that the animal had lived over 23 million years from now in Oligocene and it should had been 9m long as well as 5m tall. Archaeologists soon reached consensus that the fossils’ owner must be the biggest terrestrial mammal not only in Oligocene but the whole history. They named it “Turpan Beautiful Paraceratherium”. The fossils are the most completed paraceratherium skeleton until today.
Like Xinjiang Uygur Museum, Turpan Museum also holds long-term exhibitions of mummies, fewer in number but more astonishing, though. The mummies thousands of years ago could be dated to the Spring & Autumn Period (BC770 – BC476), and they are mainly unearthed from Astana cemetery and Subeixi ancient tombs. The scary-look mummies have always been the main reason for adventurous tourists to visit Turpan Museum.
In addition, the ancient passports and Buddhist scriptures are also worthy of being read and studied.
Cultural relics in Turpan Museum witnessed the thriving and fading of the ancient Silk Road. They tell you stories and legends about the ruins and more.