Turpan Museum

Turpan Museum is regarded as the second largest museum in Xinjiang only after Xinjiang Regional Museum. Being on the route of the famous ‘Silk Road’, Turpan assembled traders and monks from western and eastern countries. Therefore, this place is left with abundant multi-cultural relics, which is also due to its special natural conditions: torrid, dry and rainless.

Turpan Museum was first completed in 1989, located in the most prosperous street, Gaochang Road. The new one moved to 1268 Munaer Road. The construction project launched in 2006 and completed three years later. It houses more than 5,000 artifacts displaying the charming history of Turpan. In the new three-storey building, nearly half of the exhibits are new archaeological discoveries in recent years and never displayed before. Apart from the closely watched archaic mummies, the museum is also famous for many old documents in different languages.

Main Exhibitions Halls
General History of the Turpan Area
This exhibition hall is mainly to show selected cultural relics that have been unearthed, levied, picked and donated since the founding of the People’s Republic. There were human traces in this area as early as the Stone Age. It entered the Bronze Age about three thousand years ago. The Han Dynasty (206BC-220AD) first annexed it to China’s territory in 60BC. About 400 years later, the Gaochang Prefecture and the Gaochang Kingdom were established here successively. It returned to the central government of China when the Tang Dynasty (618-907) united the nation. The ancient Uighur Empire was established in 840… Turpan’s history is created by people of different tribes and ethnic groups (including some from Central Asia), cultures and religions. The 900-square-meter (1,116-square-yard) exhibition hall means to represent panoramic picture of the region. 

Giant Rhinoceros Fossil Exhibition
About 20 million years ago, the giant rhinoceros (Paraceratherium, also commonly known as Indricotherium or Paraceratherium), the largest land mammal ever known, lived in the area which was thought to be a sea, but dramatically to be a dessert now. It is said that it could eat about 500 kilograms (1,102 pounds) of leaves or grass every day. It is 5 meters (about 5 yards) high, and 9 meters (about 10 yards) long, with a weight of 30 tons (about 66,139 pounds). The fossil skeletons here are the most complete giant rhinoceros fossil ever excavated. Fossils of rhinoceros and other creatures in remote geologic ages are displayed with the aid of pictures, models, short films and videos, in order to give a vivid interpretation of the scene in millions of years ago.

Ancient Mummy Exhibition
This is the most mysterious and attractive part of the museum. The mummies discovered in the area are bestowed by local geography and climate, like being dried by the Flaming Mountain. Numerous mummies had been found in Turpan, which is the main source of mummies in the Xinjiang Regional Museum and other museums nationwide. There are nine well-preserved mummies and one skeleton on display, including two couples and a Shaman witch. The earliest one is the body 3,200 years away. Accessories include burial objects, mural paintings, replica of graves, silk paintings.

Excavated Documents and Silver & Golden Coins Exhibition
Scripts and documents excavated in the area covered the periods from the Sixteen Kingdoms Period (304-439) during the Jin Dynasty (265-420), to the Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties. The types include letters, contracts, sutras, list paper of funerary objects, prescriptions and so on. Meanwhile, there are ancient coins found in nearby tombs and silver coins of Sassanid Persia donated by a famous numismatician.

Auxiliary Buildings and Facilities
There is a 56-meter-high sightseeing tower in the northeast corner of the museum, a four-storey training center, etc. 

Admission Fee: free
Opening Hours: 10:00-19:00
- Last updated on Jul. 18, 2022 -
Questions & Answers on Turpan Museum
Asked by Rita Marko from HUNGARY | May. 16, 2016 02:15Reply
Turpan Museum on Monday open also? Can you help me?
How much(average price) an rental air condti. car for (2pers) with English speaking driver for a long ,full day July 24 Sund (8am- 9pm )?

From the city : Jiaohe,Botanic Garden , Karez Museum, Tuyog Village , Gaochang, Bezeklik Caves , Astana K Tombs, Flaming mountains

Thank you so much ! Rita
Answers (1)
Answered by Ali from GERMANY | May. 17, 2016 01:25

No, the museum is closed on Mondays, except during public holidays. BTW, the opening hours are 10:30 to 18:30 in summer and 11:00 - 17:30 in winter.

The rental fee may be around CNY 500-600 per day. By the way, you need to spare at least three days for all these scenic spots. :)
Asked by Rita from PHILIPPINES | Jul. 27, 2012 08:51Reply
Is the old Turpan Museum different from the new one in Munaer Road or is it an exact replica?
Do you see the same thing in the old and the new one?
Answers (3)
Answered by Betty | Jul. 28, 2012 01:50

The old one is different from the new one in Munaer Road.
Answered by Rita Markó from HUNGARY | May. 18, 2016 05:12

Two Karez Museum in that place, which would you recommend? The old museum more interesting? Or?
I waiting your answer!
Answered by Barry from USA | May. 19, 2016 01:00

Yes, actually, there are two museums. One is Turpan Museum with many cultural relics on exhibition. The other is Karez System Museum showing the ancient Karaz wells. They are different. If you have enough time, both are well worth to visit. :)
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