If you pay a visit to the Capital Museum in Beijing this week, you can take a look at its brand new exhibition on the Wanli Period of Ming Dynasty. Besides reviewing the political and social landscape of 4-hundred years ago, 40 pieces of treasure from Dingling Mausoleum are on exhibit for the first time.
It's not only a simple collection of valuable relics, but also a story-telling journey back in time. The layout of the exhibition is established on the items, which cover various aspects of the Wanli Period, such as politics, foreign affairs and economics. As many of the surviving artifacts today have severely deteriorated since the 1950's excavation, replicas are commonly displayed in the museum instead. So, it's a very rare chance for visitors to see items long stowed away.
Zhang Wenyong, Capital Museum of China, said, "The total number of items is around 200. About 50 of them are on exhibit for the first time."
Along with the fun facts and historical events, some pieces of home-use articles are getting attention from museum visitors, such as this prototype of a refrigerator; it's an ancient icebox made of azure earthenware.
On the other side of the hall, the ceramics on display look different from those produced by folk kilns. As Mr Zhang of the museum explains...
"These patterns are the favorite designs of European people. Judging from the designs, they may be exports to western countries, which possibly proved the blooming foreign trade market of Ming Dynasty." Zhang said.
Dingling Mausoleum is the tomb of Ming Dynasty Emperor, Wanli, and his two empresses. It is also the only one of the 13 Ming tombs excavated so far. The exhibition will go on until February 2012.