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Gilded Copper Silkworm as a Witness of the History of the Silk Road

During keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, President Xi Jinping mentioned that the “Gilded Copper Silkworm” treasured up inside Shaanxi History Museum was considered a witness of the history of the Silk Road, which was opened up by ancestors more than 2,000 years ago. Along with “Songs and Dances Enliven Chang’an City,” the special exhibition of the cultural relics of ancient Shaanxi musical dances, the “Gilded Copper Silkworm” is on display at the National Centre for the Performing Arts. The exhibition will last till July 10th.

In 1984, the “Gilded Copper Silkworm” was unearthed from Shiquan County, Shaanxi Province. It is 5.6cm in total length, 1.9cm in chest circumference, and 1.8cm in chest height. It has 9 abdominal segments from head to toe, with intact thoracic legs, abdominal legs, and caudal legs. It has a posture of raising its head or spinning. It is delicately made in a vivid form. Experts have verified it as the “Gilded Copper Silkworm” from the Han Dynasty.

During the Han Dynasty, sericulture and silk reeling industry were highly developed. The silk fabrics from the Western Han Dynasty were not only domestically popular but also sold in Central Asia and Europe through Western Asia. Therefore, the trade route from China to the West was world-famous as “the Silk Road.”

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