monks and merchants

Asia Society
silk road treasures

heavenly horses

nomad rulers

buddhism and china

buddhist cave temples



merchants and currencies

the tang dynasty

the silk road

monks and merchants animation

The Silk Road was the first transcontinental highway of the ancient world, a vast network of routes that connected China with western Asia, the Mediterranean, and the Indian subcontinent. Along this network traveled adventurers, traders, emissaries, monks, and pilgrims, bringing luxury goods and new ideas and religions to the diverse communities it linked.

The exhibition at the Asia Society focuses on the period between the collapse of the Han dynasty (206 B.C.E.�220 C.E.) and the rise of the Tang dynasty (618�906) and only on the stretch of the road situated within China proper, the area of northwest China that now constitutes the province of Gansu and the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region.

This website explores the main themes of Monks and Merchants through a selection of the objects in the exhibition. A separate section, "The Silk Road - A Broader Perspective," expands upon these themes, placing the Silk Road in a much larger historical, cultural, political, and religious context.

A 352 page catalogue with 334 illustrations, 214 in color, by Annette L. Juliano and Judith A. Lerner with contributions by other scholars, accompanies the exhibition. Price: $65 hardcover; $45 softcover. Available from AsiaStore. Tel. 212-327-9298.

Learn more about the history and cultures of the Silk Road through Silk Road Encounters--informative essays with maps, timelines, images, and other teaching materials.

Curated by Annette L. Juliano and Judith A. Lerner

November 17, 2001 through January 6, 2002

JP Morgan Chase
JPMorgan Chase is the lead sponsor of the opening season
of the new Asia Society and Museum