How did an Indian Buddhist shrine influence a Japanese pagoda? How are Italian pigs and cowry shells related to porcelain? Why did the ferocious warriors of Mongolia wear silk underwear? And how did wood block printing bring about a revolution in Japan and in European culture? These intriguing questions are investigated in Artifacts, a series that explores the origins and hidden connections among the art and artifacts of the great cultures and belief systems across Asia - on a journey through time and across continents from India to Thailand, China and Japan - to understand the impact of calligraphy, porcelain, architecture, metallurgy, wood block printing and silk on Asian history and on the history of the world in general.