Author Archives: Susan Whitfield

Lost in the Desert: Stein at Dura-Europos

Aurel Stein at Dura-Europos, 1919. The British Library, Photo 392/42* Over the winter of 1928-9, the city of Dura-Europos on the Euphrates was being excavated by a team led by Maurice Pillet (1881-1964), which included a Yale academic, Clark Hopkins … Continue reading

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Silk Road Summer School

4-day Silk Road course in central London Continue reading

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Early Exhibitions of the Collections of Aurel Stein: Part 2: 1911: The Festival of Empire

The Festival of Empire opened at the Crystal Palace in north London on 12 May 1911 to celebrate the coronation of George V (r. 1910–1936). The Indian pavilion was one among the many exhibition spaces built to celebrate British imperial … Continue reading

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Slaves on the Silk Road

Slaves, like silks, were Silk Road goods, to be bought, used and sold for profit, and often transported long distances by land and sea to trade in foreign markets. While no slaves from this time survive to tell their story … Continue reading

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The Mozac Hunter Silk

Although several scholars have tried to displace silk from its key role in trade assumed by the term Silk Road and have argued for the equal if not greater influence of other goods, the importance of silk is not so … Continue reading

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Amluk Dara Stupa

Once rising almost as high as the Pantheon in Rome, the large stupa of Amluk Dara in the Swat valley, Pakistan, is still an imposing building. Yet it is was only one among many such Buddhist structures built in Udyāna, … Continue reading

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Feeble Silkworms and Flightless Moths

Female moths of the Bombyx mori (left) and Bombyx mandarina (right). Credit: Markus Knaden, Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology. The Bombyx mori moth is well-known as producer of the silk cultivated in China for thousands of years whose technology … Continue reading

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Early Exhibitions of the Collections of Aurel Stein: Part 1: 1910

his is the first of a series of posts to list twentieth century exhibitions which have included Central Asian manuscripts, paintings, coins and other artefacts from the collections of the archaeologist M. Aurel Stein (1862–1943). Continue reading

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