The Xinjiang Autonomous Region Museum in Urumqi (also known as the Xinjiang Regional Museum) houses some 50,000 objects found in China’s most western province. The most famous objects on display are the desert Tarim Basin mummies, some of which are 3,800 years old.
The mummies’ well-preserved features and meticulously produced woollen clothing point to a western origin. Also on display are stone stelas; spindles; textiles of silk, cotton and hemp; Tang-era paintings and terracotta tomb figures; coins and other Silk Road artifacts.
A permanent gallery devoted to the province’s twelve ethnic groups (Uighur, Manchu, Russian, Hui, Mongolian, Kazakh, Kirgiz, Xibe, Tajik, Tartar, Daur, and Uzbek) displays many embroidered objects. Text boards are in Chinese, Uighur and English and admission is free.