Open through Sept. 3
9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily
At the beginning of the Field Museum's latest exhibit, Genghis
Khan, a model of the legendary warrior sits with a spirit banner on
either side: a black banner for war and a white banner for peace,
introducing visitors immediately to the two sides of Khan.
For his black side, there are ancient swords and armor, as well
as replicas of larger weapons and videos of battle re-enactments.
While most people remember Khan for his mighty Mongolian empire,
the largest ever created, he also was a man of progress. For his
white side, visitors learn how Khan would impose laws on his
conquered lands concerning everything from murder and adultery to
picking up litter. Khan is to thank for modern-day conveniences
like forks, the postal service and eyeglasses.
The exhibit also educates visitors on the life of all Mongolian
nomads. A replica of a Ger, or a hut made mostly from felt that
housed an entire family, helps explain the lifestyle and habits of
these 13th century families. And the remains of a woman are
displayed along with tokens she was buried with, clues to what her
daily routine may have included. Visitors also learn about the role
of Buddhism, music and even Marco Polo.
During my Genghis Khan visit, it seemed boys ages 8-12 and
adults enjoyed it the most. Some of the videos and artifacts can be
a bit graphic, but the exhibit provides a great history lesson.
Alaina is the digital content editor at Chicago Parent. She lives in Chicago.
See more of Alaina's stories here.
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