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The Wealth of Khan

March 06, 1994|JAKE DOHERTY

The name Genghis Khan evokes images of mounted Mongol warriors sweeping across the plains of Eurasia laying claim to a vast empire in the name of their fierce and cunning ruler.

But an unprecedented exhibition at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles, beginning today and running through May 22, provides a new understanding of the rich artistic and technological legacy cultivated under Khan's reign.

"Genghis Khan: Treasures from Inner Mongolia" features more than 200 artifacts, gold ornamental plates, bronze weapons, silk garments, pottery, porcelain and funerary ware, much of it recently discovered during archeological digs in Inner Mongolia, one of the five autonomous border regions of China.

The exhibition spans a period from 2000 BC to the 14th Century and has never been shown before outside of China.

Adam T. Kessler, the exhibition's curator, said the Inner Mongolian discoveries are "highly revolutionary" because they force revisions in assumptions about the origins and development of art and technology in the region.

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"Genghis Khan: Treasures From Inner Mongolia," at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles, 900 Exposition Blvd.; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily through March (except March 14 and 21), Wednesday through Sunday April 1 through May 22; adults, $8; students and adults 62 and older, $5.50; children 5 to 12, $2; children under 5, free . (213) 744-3506 or (213) 744-3466.

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