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Published on Mar 31, 2010

Over a century ago the Hungarian scholar Marc Aurel Stein set out on what was to be his first of four expeditions to Chinese Central Asia. He was in search of ancient civilisations, almost forgotten to history yet with ruins which could potentially provide archaeological evidence of the rich cultural mix engendered by the opening of the international trade routes across Eurasia the Silk Road. Steins expeditions and finds exceeded his expectations: he uncovered hundreds of archaeological sites, discovering over 50,000 artefacts. He also mapped his journey and the sites and took over 5,000 photographs, recording the sites, people he encountered, everyday life, officials and the changing landscape. In November 2008 members of a joint project between IDP and the Xinjiang Institute of Archaeology in China (XJIA), retraced Steins footsteps to retake his site photographs a hundred years on.

Read more about the IDP Field Trip

General name for the whole of the debris area stretching north of Yurung-kash and Hanguya including an ancient fort and a temple (Kighillik), east of Khotan. When Stein visited the walls remained 8-15 foot high, which must have enclosed an area of 800 ft in diameter. With a circular rampart made of earth stamped loess measuring 50 ft at base and about 11 ft high. Signs of ancient fields outside. Stein suggests marks on bricks suggest Kharosthi builders' marks, dating the site to 23rd-4th century.

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© International Dunhuang Project

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