A day at Chongqing Science and Technology Museum as Marco Polo
People visiting ancient Chinese hydraulic machinery
CHONGQING (CQNEWS) -- In the Yuan Dynasty, Marco Polo, a famous traveller, travelled in China for 17 years via the Silk Road from Venice, Italy. The exhibition Being Marco Polo for a Day: Discovering the Wisdom of the Silk Road, developed and produced by China Science and Technology Museum, is now open at Chongqing Science and Technology Museum. The Exhibition will run to May 20, 2021, so the public can experience “Travels of Marco Polo” for themselves.
People experiencing earth-magnetism navigation
Discovering spices by smell: saffron is not actually native to Tibet, China
The exhibition Being Marco Polo for a Day: Discovering the Wisdom of the Silk Road consists of six sections: “Imagining Exotic Places”, “What Goods to Take to China”, “Stages and Post Roads”, “Wandering Ancient China”, “Adventures at Sea” and “Changing World”. Using the itinerary recorded in Travels of Marco Polo as a thread, the Exhibition takes the viewer on a first-person perspective as the ancient traveller who set off from the West, crossed the Silk Road, reached ancient China and returned to the West via the Maritime Silk Road. At the end, visitors will be able to experience a journey through time and space to the modern day and experience the vision of the New Silk Road formed under the Belt and Road initiative.
In “Imagining Exotic Places” section, visitors can see a digital three-dimensional panoramic map of the Silk Road, depicting Marco Polo’s route from Italy eastwards to China his route back from China to Italy, a journey of more than 40,000 kilometers and 28 countries along the route. Not only does the map mark the route and the countries along the way, but it also restores important ancient cities along the way, showing 300 images of historical sites, 1,000 cultural and geographical markers and much more. Visitors can get a comprehensive and direct insight into the entire journey of Marco Polo, the trade of goods along the Silk Road and the economic and cultural exchanges between China and the West in ancient times through an interactive physical experience.
People learning about the silk making process through animation
In “What Goods to Take to China” section, visitors can see some of the most familiar spices. They are stored in jars, and through the small holes in the top of the jars, visitors can see and smell them and learn about their origins through explanations. For example, cumin, used in barbecues, comes from Egypt and Ethiopia; rosemary comes from the Mediterranean region; sandalwood comes from India; and saffron comes from Greece. Usually people have the impression that saffron should be native to Tibet in China, but according to the staff of Chongqing Science and Technology Museum, saffron originates from Mediterranean region and is mainly used abroad as a high-grade spice and high-grade dye, which can be eaten directly; a few sticks when steaming rice not only give the rice a nice color but also a faint characteristic aroma. Used mainly as medicine in China, it is called saffron because in ancient times saffron was imported mainly through India and then China’s Tibet to the mainland.
According to the staff at Chongqing Science and Technology Museum, as the raw material for many spices is plant-based and perishable, the spices had to be processed before they could be taken on the Silk Road. There are three common ways of processing spices, namely air-drying, grinding and distillation. Of these, distillation, which uses high temperature water vapor, extracts the essential oils from the spices and puts them into containers, as is the case with rose essential oil.
People changing clothes along the Silk Road in front of the “fitting mirror”
It is learned that the Exhibition run to May 20, 2021, and the public is welcome to visit it free of charge. (Translated by Wang Huixin, Fathom Language Limited)