With graceful eyelashes, long flaxen hair and serene expression, the "Beauty of Xiaohe" seems to have just softly fallen to sleep-yet she last closed her eyes nearly 4,000 years ago. She was found, and excavated, in 2003, one of hundreds of spectacularly preserved mummies buried in the harsh desert sands of the vast Tarim Basin, in the Far Western Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China. This "Beauty of Xiaohe" and more than 150 objects, 700 to 3,800 years old, also excavated in recent years from the same desert and mountain region-travel for the first time ever to the East Coast, where Secrets of the Silk Road opens at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology in Philadelphia from February 5 through June 5, 2011, before returning to China.
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