“The Silk Roads have connected civilisations and brought peoples and cultures into contact with each other from across the world for thousands of years, permitting not only an exchange of goods but an interaction of ideas and cultures that has shaped our world today.” The UNESCO Silk Roads Project.

Marco Polo travelling, Miniature from the Book “The Travels of Marco Polo” (“Il milione“), originally published during Polo’s lifetime (c. 1254 – January 8, 1324), but frequently reprinted and translated. Source:

This web site attempts to bring some of this history and cultural exchange to life by visiting 41 objects in the British Museum in London and telling a small story about each one.

It is designed to be used either when at the British Museum as a self guided tour, or as a virtual tour, say in your own home. If you are fortunate enough to live in a house with multiple rooms and stairs you may wish to study the maps and allocate galleries to your room and follow the tour from room to room.

This is a private tour, it is not delivered, sponsored or organised by the British Museum. The tour is intended for those with a general interest in art and history, it is not intended for art historians. No liability is accepted by the tour guide for any life changing epiphanies experienced. Neither is any credit or blame accepted for any improvement or deterioration in physical, mental, or emotional health.

Next page to visit:

  • For more context about the Silk Road’s relevance today select this link.
  • For orientation, maps and to understand the object descriptions select the Orientation menu.
  • To start your tour from the first object without orientation select this link
  • To restart your tour at a particular object select the Tour Objects menu above.
  • To restart your tour at a particular gallery select the Galleries menu above.

Organiser and guide: Alan at

Please send suggestions, criticisms and corrections to Alan. Feedback is always welcome.

Pictures are from the British Museum web site and the British Museum Collections web site and the British Museums’s copyright ownership is acknowledged:

© The Trustees of the British Museum.

Where detailed descriptions of an object are included these descriptions are from the British Museum collections web site.