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Gansu Provincial Museum

Gansu Provincial Museum is located in southern Lanzhou City. It is the largest and most comprehensive museum of Gansu Province. The museum  built in 1956  designed by the soviet experts  covers a total area of 18000 square meters (about 4 acres).


The museum complex
The museum complex consists of three separate buildings linked by corridors: the two wings of the building are three storied and the main building in the middle has five floors. At the back of the building are a display hall and a lecture hall. It is further divided into two sections: a natural resources section downstairs and a historical exhibits section upstairs. 


 
The Exhibits Halls
With 7500 square meters of exhibition space  the Museum mainly holds five exhibition halls:


1.The Hall of Gansu Historical Relics
It exhibits about 1500 items of unearthed relics  mainly including painted pottery vessels  agricultural tools  and excavations from the Silk Road of the Han and Tang periods. Among pottery vessels  those of Majiayao Culture excavated from the region of the Yellow River Valley are the best. Geometric motifs like parallel lines  circles  crosses  and spirals were used.
 
2.The Hall of Gansu Natural Resources
This exhibits about 1 380 items of real objects as well as models  introducing knowledge on Gansu's population  nationality  transportation  climate  animals and plants resources  etc.
 
3.The Hall of Jiayuguan Murals of Wei and Jin Period (220 - 420)
It displays over 60 murals on the tomb bricks mainly depicting the daily life of the aristocrats  laboring scenes of the common people  and imperial life. The colorings are well-preserved and still very vivid.


4.The Hall of the Yellow River Ancient Elephants
This hall exhibits a 4-meter-tall and 8-meter-long fossil of the Yellow River Xiphodon mammoth  which is the largest and best-preserved remains of its kind in the world.


 
5.The Hall of Red Army's Long March via Gansu
It contains revolutionary relics of the Long March  including pictures  documents  and real objects  etc.
 
The treasures of the museum
Galloping Horse of Wuwei
The world-famous bronze Galloping Horse of Wuwei  also known as Galloping Horse's Hoof Stepped on a Flying Swallow  is the treasure of Gansu Provincial Museum. Excavated in 1969 in Wuwei County  the piece depicts a vigorous horse with long tail waving and head perking. Its three hooves are in the air  galloping like lightening. What makes this sculpture amazing is the right back hoof of this galloping horse lands on the back of a small flying bird. The bird turns in surprise to look at the big creature on its back. At the same moment  the horse's head also turns slightly in attempt to know what has happened. The whole statue is honored as the mysterious and rare treasure in the history of Chinese ancient sculpture art.


Potteries
The museum houses collections of various color-painted potteries of Neolithic Age and treasures of ancient grottoes. The design of these potteries is gorgeous and has the characteristic of the local culture. 


 
Bamboo slips
More than 20 000 bamboo slips carry Chinese written words contribute to the studies of the Han Dynasty history.
 
Stone with Chinese characters
There are 175 pieces of stone works carved with Chinese characters  and most of these works are done by Ouyang  Yan and WangXizhi  outstanding calligraphers in China's ancient time.
 
Other collections
In addition  the museum is home to precious linen and silk fabrics  books  wooden and bronze vessels  frescos and so many other items.
Aside from the prehistoric presentations  there are also rare animal exhibits  such as pandas  golden monkeys and red -crowned cranes.

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