Image by ralphrepo
Entitled: Masib, Ahmad, Haji, Abdullah, Kara-khoja outlaws at Panopa shelter huts, Panopa, Xinjiang, China [c1915] MA Stein [RESTORED] Usual spot and defect removal, tone and contrast adjustments, minor edge repair, with a sepia tone.
This is the original from IDP.BL.UK
Sir Marc Aurel Stein was arguably a duality in terms of Chinese history. On the one hand, he is the Hungarian archaeologist who brought world attention to the trove of undiscovered manuscripts in the famous Buddhist caves of Dunhuang. Knighted by the British government for his work, he was also a major contributor of the many things that we know about Central Asia and the history of the famed silk road. But on the other hand, he stole a heck of a lot of the stuff that he found. The majority of the best Central Asian items held by the British Museum were probably looted by Stein.
A large portion of Stein’s work and historic findings can be reviewed at the International Dunhuang Project, link HERE:…and several of his rare books are available for public access via high resolution scans held by Toyo Bunko, Link HERE:
From Stein’s own notes:
"Masib, Ahmad*, Haji, Abdullah, Kara-khoja outlaws at Panopa shelter huts.
Full-length portrait of the four men, standing in a line with rifles. ‘While halting for the night I had an interesting opportunity of becoming acquainted with a small party of well-armed outlaws from Kara-khoja of whose presence on this much-frequented mountain route I had already been warned at Jimasa… They were the ‘die-hard’ remnant of a large party of Kara-khoja cultivators, who having had a long-standing dispute over some lands with neighbours of Astana… had about six months before attacked and killed the Muhammadan Jisa, the local revenue official, whom they believed to have brought about the defeat of their rightful claims…
They were well armed with Mauser rifles, for since the revolution of 1911-12 it had become easy to purchase arms and ammunition from the Chinese garrison at Turfan… Since removing themselves to a region outside the Turfan command, the four heroes had remained wholly unmolested. They were now maintaining themselves in comparative comfort at Pa-no-p’a by the receipt of charitable gifts from sympathizing fellow Muslims and of blackmail from other wayfarers…
Ahmad’s wish to meet me again during my winter’s stay in Turfan was to be realised in a fashion rather different from that he had in mind; for, on returning from Urumchi in the first days of January, I was greeted by his shrivelled black head stuck up on a high pole outside the gate of the Yang-shahr of Turfan…’ (ii, 560, note). (I.A. Map 28, B1). Location: China; Pa-no-p’a; Xinjiang"