Exhibition specifications

Curatorial partners: Inner Mongolia Museum, China
Collection: Original artefacts from China, including an exceptional number of national
Available: From winter 2017
Size: The exhibition is designed to be tailored to suit hosting galleries. The core concept is designed to sit within a 600–1000 sqm space – other configurations can be provided as required.
Service: Tailored service with objects and interpretation or turnkey package. Contact us to find out more about our tailored experiences.
Presentation: Request a copy of the exhibition book.      

Tombs of the Liao Dynasty

The Liao were a powerful dynasty that ruled over a large part of East Asia from 907 to 1125. Led by the great Khan, Yelii Aboaji, the dynasty was founded by the Khitan, an ancient nomadic group which had become a strong united force by the dawn of the tenth century. Little trace of the Liao has endured historically; their written language has been lost and very few relics have survived. Consequently, the Liao have been neglected and misunderstood by historians for centuries, and considered as a minor era in the history of China.

In 2003, a series of mysterious Liao burial tombs were discovered by archaeologists in Inner Mongolia. The discovery of these tombs, and the hundreds of objects contained within them, offers a fascinating insight into the lives of a forgotten people. Showcasing artefacts from these recent excavations, this pioneering exhibition considers the Liao in a new light. Tombs of the Liao Dynasty: Treasures from the Afterlife will reveal that, far from being an insignificant dynasty of barbarians, the Liao were a sophisticated, multi-ethnic society founded upon an elaborate system of customs and politics, a culture of refined art and creativity and an astute set of diplomatic skills, developed in order to manage tensions between Khitan and Han Chinese populations. Touring outside of Asia together for the first time, these incredible treasures from the afterlife offer us a glimpse into a lost world where, through death, we can learn what was important to the Liao in life.

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