Why This Matters: Genghis Khan, the world’s greatest conqueror, also achieved significant cultural breakthroughs that have changed the way we interact and connect with other cultures and societies.
By Giovanna Torres
Marketing and Communications Coordinator
Seen by more than a million people around the world, Genghis Khan is now on exhibition at Discovery Place, bringing with it the culture and heritage of 13th-century Mongolia to the city of Charlotte. In fact, the Queen City has been the second city with a space big enough to showcase the entire exhibit.
Curated and developed in a period of 7 years by dinosaur expert Don Lessem, this interactive exhibit features more than 200 objects — the largest collection ever assembled of the treasures of Genghis Khan. It is divided in 6 sections (The Grasslands, Rise of the Mongols, The Walled City, The Silk Road, The Palace of Kublai Khan and Mongolia Today) that allow the visitor to experience the life and reign of the founder of the Mongol empire, while keeping the little ones engaged, letting them follow the history of several characters related to Khan.
But what’s even more interesting about this exhibit is that it portrays every aspect of Genghis Khan, not only his warrior facet. It gives the visitor an inside look at the rise and fall of the Khan empire, as well as Genghis Khan’s cultural achievements.
After the Mongols had conquered all their enemies, arts and culture flourished. Khan united the East and West, established free trade along the Silk Road enabling the exchange of both goods and ideas between cultures, created a universal writing system, developed a fair taxation system and established religious freedom.
Genghis Khan encouraged the appreciation of the arts, while introducing many modern essentials to the world, such as pants, paper money, and one of the first international postal systems. He even established the concept of passports.
There are many lessons we can take away from this exhibit, but there’s something unique about learning from other cultures and how they can transcend through time. It is safe to say that Genghis Khan’s significant impact on culture will last hundreds of years.
Want to Go?
“Genghis Kahn” is on exhibition through April 30, 2017, at Discovery Place, 301 N. Tryon Street, Charlotte. Museum hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. General admission is $17 adults and $15 seniors, Children $13; free for members. For more information, visit Charlotte Culture Guide.