The exhibition gives a general picture of the diversity of cultures of the peoples who inhabited the various regions of Central Asia and Mongolia from the ancient times until the Middle Ages.
Among the exhibits displayed in the separate gallery are wall paintings, sculptures and archaeological materials unearthed during the excavation work in the Buddhist cave temples in the oases in the Silk Road. The works of Buddhist art are also represented by the relics from the cave temples of Mogao (near Dunhuang) and by the works of Tang dynasty art, notably by Buddhist painting and sculpture from Hara-Hoto, one of the centres of the Tangut state of Western Xia.
The Hermitage State Museum has a large number of archaeological finds from the burial-mounds of Noin-Ula, the archaeological complex of the nomadic culture of the Central Asian Huns (Hsiung-nu) in northern Mongolia. The collection of Tibetan art, which followed the tradition of Tibetan and Mongolian form of Buddhism, includes the examples of Buddhist bronze plastic art, painting (Tibetan tangka) and ritual objects.