Early in June this year, Chengdu Museum opened its newest branch, and set up an exhibition called “Chengdu’s History and Culture”, the displays of which included an imitation of the Laoguanshan Han jacquard loom. This is the second time this loom appeared in public, the firstbeing at the “Press of Chengdu Laoguanshan Unearthed Loom”held on March 11, 2015 in Hangzhou.
The remaking of the ancient loom was entrusted to the China National Silk Museum by the Chengdu Museum. This project was part of the larger program: striving to learn more about artifacts from the Han Dynasty.Other institutions participating in the program included Institute of natural science history of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Zhejiang College of Zhejiang University of Technology. This new loom was made to match every aspect of the old one, in terms of size, use, etc. It is already a part of the exhibition to be viewed by the public.
On Oct. 11, 2015, inthe exhibition “Silks from the Silk Road: Origin, Transmission and Exchange”hosted by the State Administration of Cultural Heritage and Zhejiang Provincial Government, this loom was first showcased to the public. At the same time,China National silk Museum and Chengdu Museum announced their research findings gathered during the re-making process of this Han Dynasty Loom. In the conference,Director Wang Yi of the Chendu Museum and Director Zhao Feng of China National Silk Museum both discussed the various archaeological findings this loom helped bring into focus. Various authoritative scientific figures, including Director Zhang BaiChun of the Institute of Natural History of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Director Mei Jianjun of the Joseph Needham Institute of the United Kingdom, Director Nosch Marie-Louise of the Danish National Foundation for Textile Research Center (CTR) and French National Academy of Sciences (CNRS) senior fellow Cardon Dominique also commented on these new findings. These experts think that the 4 Brocade jacquard loom models unearthed at the Chengdu Laoguanshan Han Loom were the first Western Han Dynasty looms to be discovered, and said that the subsequent findings filled in numerous empty holes in knowledge about China’s and indeed the world’s history of silk technology. These looms were used in the Han Dynasty to produce silk brocade, which was the most important silk item at the time. Conclusively, this piece of technology was hugely important for Chinese Culture and for the Silk Road. Not only that, it was also instrumental in advancing global silk culture, and human civilization. (translated by Bi Ran)