WRITTEN BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Weapons, jewels and religious relics featured in a Philadelphia exhibit help tell the story of conqueror Genghis Khan, a Mongolian warrior and statesman whose 13th-century empire stretched from the Pacific Ocean to Europe.
“Genghis Khan: Bring the Legend to Life” opens Saturday at the Franklin Institute. Visitors can see more than 200 artifacts, including one of the world’s earliest guns and a sword carried by one of Marco Polo’s guards.
Born in 1162, Khan has been depicted as a fearless marauder who left a trail of devastation as he captured territories from central Asia into Europe. But he’s also credited with planting the seeds of democracy and literacy in Mongolia.
Khan united the country in 1206 by turning a group of warring tribes into an invincible army. The soldiers were all skilled horsemen, and the exhibition includes many examples of saddles, arrows, crossbows and armor.
The museum installation, which has been displayed at several other U.S. sites, uses elaborate sets, murals and videos to examine Khan’s legacy and offer a glimpse at daily nomadic life in Mongolia, both then and now. It runs through Jan. 3.