Archeology and History of the Silk Road

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Sunday, 29 April 2012

Le Royaume de Mustang: Les Chemins du Vent



A l’ombre des 8'000 de l’Himalaya, le Mustang est l’une des vallées les plus isolées au monde. Il faut payer de sa personne pour atteindre la capitale Lo Manthang: 11'000 mètres de dénivelés, plus de 200 kilomètres de marche à travers des paysages hallucinants! Des paysages mais aussi et surtout une culture d’une richesse insoupçonnée. Traverser le Mustang, c’est se plonger au coeur-même du bouddhisme dans sa pureté originelle. Première partie d’une série de deux reportages consacrés au Mustang, musée vivant du Moyen Age.


To watch this documentary
Mustang, les chemins du vent


Saturday, 28 April 2012

From Alexander the Great to Kublai Khan

"Eurasia" represents a spectacular adventure, a visual conquest of the East in 8 episodes, made in 2004. A magical voyage through time and space, exploring the history, culture and religions that link East and West: from the Persian Empire of Alexander the Great to the huge Mongolian Empire of Kublai Khan, the destinies of highly developed civilizations intermingled until they converged to take the shape of a Eurasian civilization shared by all of us. Babylon, Persepolis, Ai-Khanoum, Baghdad, Rome…are virtually recreated with incomparable realism by computer generated images.



Épisode 1 : Alexander the Great
Alexander was been the king of a tiny realm. He was only twenty when he embarked on one of history's most cherished dream : to unite the East and the West. He proved to be a political and military genius and he succeeded in conquering the greatest empire of his time, an empire that reached to the borders of India. In only thirteen years, he imposed a new vision onto the world. Our series begins 2 300 years ago at the outset of his great conquest : after leaving Macedonia, Alexander and his army headed for the great Achaemenid empire of Persia. He fought memorable battles against Darius and conquered a territory stretching from Afghanistan to India. Following Alexander closely, we also witness what he discovers for himself : the intelligence and sheer splendour of the Persian and Egyptian cultures. The experience had a profound effect on him – he became fascinated by the different forms of government… When his army deserted him upon reaching the Indus, he turned back, disenchanted. He died three years later on 13 June 323, probably by a fever he caught in Babylon. He was not even 33 years old. The Greek universe, which had ended at Byzance only ten years earlier, now stretched to the Indus valley. But his dream to « unite all under the same law, just like the infinite light of the sky » died with Alexander.

 



 Épisode 2 : The Forgotten Alexandria
 Is it myth or reality ? It has always been said that Alexander left a string of some seventy cities in the wake of his conquests – all named Alexandria in his honour. However, none of these legendary cities was ever found, except for Alexandria in Egypt and, naturally, generations of archaeologists have been searching for them… In 1961, Mohamed Zahir Shah, who was then King of Afghanistan, discovered a Corinthian capital while he was out hunting. It was the first evidence of a yet unknown archaeological site : Ai-Khanoum. Ceramics and fragments were unearthed as well as hundreds of coins marked with names of Greek kings and Greek inscriptions. Gradually, it became evident that this city – separated from the Mediterranean world since the 3rd century BC – had been colonised by Greeks who continued to speak their own language, use their own scriptures. They had lived in harmony with the peoples of Central Asia: the Bactrians, Scytes Sogdians and Tokharians. It was like entering the Greek universe 5000 km from Greece… A virtual reconstruction of Ai-Khanoum takes us back through time and history to the forgotten Alexandria

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 Épisode 3: Ghandhara: The Renaissance of Buddhism
 In India in the 6th century BC, Sakyamuni, "a wise man of the Sakya tribe", had been meditating under a tree when, suddenly, he was struck with the comprehension of all things. He became Buddha, meaning the « Illuminated ». His message, based on a pragmatic philosophy, taught how to free oneself from all needs in order to achieve illumination. After the death of the Enlightened One, his disciples – a few monks – began to spread his teachings all over India, from Ceylon to the Himalayan. Fearing man's penchant for idol worship, Buddha expressly forbade that his image should be represented in whatever form. Therefore, the Indian philosophers told his life story without ever showing in any form other than that of a simple lotus, a tree or a horse without a rider. The Buddhist missionaries began to build monasteries – they discovered that the local population was a mix of settlers from Greece, Egypt and Antioch as well as descendants from Alexander's soldiers. Influenced by Greek sculpture, Buddhism began to represent the Enlightened One in a Hellenised form. The Buddhist philosophy became less abstract and was better understood and henceforth widely adopted. Buddhism is a blend of spirit and culture which is unique in the history of mankind – it achieved the successful encounter of East and West.

 

Épisode 4 : The Romans in China
Ancient Chinese documents dating back 1600 years have revealed the presence of Romans at the very heart of China as far back as the year 166 AD. According to these chronicles, they had been emissaries sent by the powers in Rome in order to establish relations with the Han Empire. Were they ambassadors or just ordinary merchants ? Maybe they were both… At the times of Augustus, Rome's first emperor, the empire had been enjoying two prosperous centuries. It was the era of the Pax Romana and Rome's power was to expand rapidly due to contacts and trade. Endless caravans supplied a steady stream of goods from the Orient to the ports of the Mediterranean. Each trip represented a perilous voyage of 11 000 km with dangers lurking along the trade routes, not least of them being the Huns who turned travelling into a dangerous and uncertain enterprise. Setting out from Antioch (Antakya), the merchants sent their goods to Asia via the terrestrial trade routes to Lo Yang, the capital of China. Along the road, intermediaries forced themselves upon the Roman and Chinese traders: the Parths, an Iranian tribe which occupied Persia. Their hold on the caravan routes was to become so powerful that the Romans looked for alternatives: it would be the maritime route. During the reign of Augustus, some 120 ships crossed the Indian Ocean. On behalf of the Romans, Tamil sailors expanded their maritime routes towards the golden land, in other words Indochina, then crossed the Malacca straits to reach China. The Romans had established trading posts all along the coast of Indochina and put Tamil or Indian agents in charge of them.

 

Épisode 5 : The Sogdians: The Caravaneers of the Silk Road
After a perilous trek of some 11 000 kilometres across steppes, mountains and deserts, the caravans entered China through the Jade Gate. For seven hundred years, one particular tribe of caravaneers, the Sogdians, held the monopoly of crossing these hostile regions and became masters in the art of organising and leading caravans between East and West. They were among the best merchants the Silk Road had ever known. Their ancestral trading tradition had been the result of Sogdiana’s privileged geographical position: the only possible route for caravans from India to reach Russia, or for those from the Mediterranean to travel to China was to cross Sogdian territory. No other trading route in history has been used for so long and by so many. In the year 674, the Sogdian city states would be conquered by the Arabs from the Middle East. They allowed the defeated Sogdians to keep their own language, Persian, but they forced them to convert to Islam. Still - looking back in history - no other people without an empire or military might has contributed more to the cultural encounter between East and West than the Sogdians.

  

Épisode 6 : Bagdad in the Year 1000
Today, Baghdad is a battered city. But we need to remember that before the ruins, from the 8th to the 13th century, Baghdad had been the capital of a refined civilisation ! Over thousand years ago, Baghdad had been named Madinat al Salam, « the City of Peace » with the ruling Abbassids - named after Caliph "Abu al-Abbas" - who had founded the dynasty. In 749, the Abbassid Caliphat further spread its sphere of influence, reaching from Spain to the borders of China. As a protector of ancient knowledge, Baghdad had translated Aristotle, Plato, Euclid. The head of its medical school, Ali Abu Ibn-Sina or Avicenna, a Persian from Bukhara, was also a commentator on Aristotle's writings. Baghdad, city of « A Thousand and One Nights », was a cultural melting pot where craftsmen, poets and merchants were able to get together through to their common language, Arabic. Baghdad enjoyed a culture of commerce and trade – inspired by the Coran - which had been unique for its time: very sophisticated financial transactions… cheques issued in Baghdad and cashed in Cordoba, Spain, some 4000 kilometres away. This side-by-side of different languages, cultures and races turned Baghdad into a cosmopolitan city, a dynamic and colourful metropolis, which had been unequalled at its time. However, after five centuries of grandeur, secure in its comfortable lifestyle and weakened by in-fighting, Baghdad was to collapse all of a sudden. In the 13th century, 12 000 Mongol horsemen under the command of Hulagu-Khan, grandson of Gengis Khan, stormed the city and laid siege to Baghdad and its one million inhabitants, for seventeen days. The event heralded the end of Baghdad as the capital of the Caliphat. The city would never again recapture its intellectual radiance, nor its splendour.


Épisode 7 : Jerusalem: 1227, the Excommunicated Peace
For fifteen centuries, the possession of the city had been incessantly fought over and caused bloody battles. It is hard to believe then, that in the thirteenth century History had been afforded a breathing space through the unlikely friendship between two visionary sovereigns – a sultan and a Christian emperor – who brought a miraculous period of grace to Jerusalem. The Christian sovereign was Frederick II Hohenstaufen, Emperor of the Holy Roman-Germanic Empire and King of Sicily. The Muslim was Malik Al Kalmil, Sultan of Cairo and Guardian of the holy shrines. Between the two of them started a friendship which was unique in history . They admired each other without ever having met and – against the advice of their respective counsellors – they decided to put an end to 135 years of wars and crusades. On February 11th, 1229, after five months of hard bargaining, the two sovereigns won the day… still without having met each other face to face. Frederick and Al-Kamil signed the treaty of Jaffa, an outstanding diplomatic achievement in the history of relations between Christianity and Islam. Even more so, this treaty was to be a model of its kind as it drew a line between religion and politics – which was totally opposed to the accepted vision of the era. Upon his return to Sicily, Frederick had been publicly repudiated by Pope Gregory IX, who believed that this peace treaty with the Muslims was a pact with the Devil. He attempted to have Frederick assassinated and upheld the excommunication which he had pronounced against him. Al Kamil died a lonely man in 1238. He knew that - after his death - Jerusalem would never again find peace. True enough, six years after his passing, his successors would take Jerusalem back from the Francs for good. Two further crusades by the Christians would not succeed in re-conquering the Holy Land. St. John fell at Acre on the 18th May 1291 – it would be the end of any Western presence in Palestine. Frederick, the excommunicated emperor, died in 1250, twelve years after his friend. Each of them had been living a fragment of the longest dream in History , the dream to reconcile East and West. Their dream was to last for only fifteen years.



Épisode 8 : The Mongol Conqueror: Kublai Khan's Dream
Protected by its great wall and by three thousand years of history, the Middle Kingdom felt forever safe from invaders. That was counting without the hordes of nomadic horsemen who came from the Mongolian steppes, commanded by Kublai. The great Kublai Khan, grandson of Gengis Khan, was born in 1214. He was the very incarnation of twelve centuries of invasions of sedentary civilisations by nomadic people. His great ambition was to complete the conquest of the northern part of China – which his grandfather had started – by defeating the southern part of the country. To him, China was more than just an empire: Kublai's goal was to conquer a civilisation and make it his own. Since the beginning of its three thousand-year-old history, China had kept to itself. When conquering Siang Yang, Kublai Khan became the only ruler of the Middle Kingdom. From then on, China, Turkestan, Persia and Russia had been united in one Empire, under the authority of the Mongol princes. For the following century, the newly established Yuans dynasty would continue in the traditional lineage of the old Chinese dynasties. Kublai the Nomad carried the ostentatious mantle of the Chinese emperors and adopted their ceremonial protocol. For the first time in its history, the Middle Kingdom opened to the outside world and established direct relations with Persia and the West. The Mongols, who had secured safe passage for the caravans, opened both transcontinental routes, which had been closed since the end of antiquity. Travellers from Europe could from then on take either the Southern route which led through Persia to the Jade Gate, or opt for the Northern route from the Crimea, crossing the south of Siberia reaching China via the north. In 1275, a Venetian merchant travelling through Tai-tou, asked to be received by Kublai Khan. His name was Marco Polo who wrote in his memoirs about his reception at the Kublai's palace, describing the magnificence and splendour of his court. Kublai died in Peking in 1294 at the age of 80. It had taken seventy years for the Nomadic horsemen from the steppes in order to make the dream of Alexander the Great come true: unite the East and the West.

 

Friday, 27 April 2012

Terracotta warriors on display in New York City



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In New York city, an exhibit that is displaying what was built to be an eternal army for a Chinese emperor. China’s ancient terracotta warriors will go on display at the Discovery Times Square Exposition in New York City on Friday. The exhibit features a total of ten clay warriors, three of which have never been on display in the US.
Over 2,200 years ago, Emperor Qin Shihuang unified China for the very first time. But his ambition stretched beyond his lifetime. In order to rule China in his afterlife, labourers spent over 38 years making Qin’s eternal army, clay figures known as the Terracotta Army.
Instead of protecting the emperor in his afterlife, this army was forgotten for thousands of years until it was discovered in March 1974 by local farmers in Shaanxi province, who were drilling a water well.
China’s ancient terracotta warriors will go on display at the Discovery Times
Square Exposition in New York City on Friday. The exhibit features a total of
ten clay warriors, three of which have never been on display in the US.
The Terracotta Army is 8,000 strong. The magnificent clay figures were crafted in 221 BC. Originally, many of the figures were painted in colors. But after sitting underground for 2,000 years, they lost their hue when they were unearthed during excavation.
Kristin Romey, a curator for the exhibit, said the artifacts on display are some of "the most important archaeological treasures ever discovered in China."
Romey said the unique figures are a source of pride for the Chinese, which could help Americans gain insight into Chinese culture and history.
China’s ancient terracotta warriors will go on display at the Discovery Times
Square Exposition in New York City on Friday. The exhibit features a total of
ten clay warriors, three of which have never been on display in the US.
Kristin Romey says "This exhibit is not the only important because of the incredible artifacts we have on display, but for Americans I think it gives a really good background into the origins and the China that we know today. And if this is truly going to be the century of China then we could better understand the country by having a greater understanding of its past."
In addition to the warriors, the exhibition features over 200 artifacts from ancient China, many of which were buried with the army in Qin Shihuangdi’s tomb. They include tools, jewellery, instruments and sculpted figures.
The Terracotta Warriors and Horses were listed as a heritage site by UNESCO in 1987. They will be displayed at the Discovery Times Square exposition through the summer.
Source: CCTV.CN

Shandong excavation sheds light on mysterie of 2,600 years ago



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An ancient tomb believed to date back 2,600 years is providing some clues to the culture of China’s Spring-and-Autumn Period.
The tomb in Yishui County, Shandong province is currently being excavated, with a number of relics having already been discovered. Judging from the bronzes already unearthed, as well as the scale and grandeur of the tomb, experts believe the owner may have been a high ranking local ruler.
The tomb has some unique features, including bronzeware found in the chambers where the owner’s chariots were laid -- something never seen before. The find is increasing archaeologists’ curiosity about the culture and local customs of the area.
An ancient tomb believed to date back 2,600 years is providing some clues to the
culture of China’s Spring-and-Autumn Period.

Latest progress of tomb excavation
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For the latest on the tomb excavation, let’s cross over to CCTV reporter Xia Ruixue in Yishui, Shandong province.
Q1: Hello Ruixue, how is the progress of the tomb excavation going?
Q2: I heard there is a legend from China’s Spring and Autumn Period, that tells the story of a king from the Ji nation. He was exiled to this mountain and he might have been buried there. According to the archeologists, is it possible that this could be the tomb of a king from the Ji nation?

King's tomb unveiled in Shandong Province


In Shandong Province, an ancient tomb has been unearthed. Believed to be over 2,000 years old, archaeologists say it could be the final resting place of a king. Let's head to Yishui County to check it out.
It's the biggest tomb from the Spring and Autumn Era ever to be found in Shandong Province. At 28 meters long and 13.6 meters wide, the recovered part of the tomb is as large as a basketball court.
So far, a pit where horses were buried alive has been found and six bronze vessels excavated. All the evidence suggests that it could be the tomb of a king. But who he was remains unknown.
Ren Xianghong, history professor of Shandong University, said, "The bronze vessels have broken into pieces. But they are well maintained. Because they are large, delicately made and engraved, they must have belonged to a king."
In Shandong Province, an ancient tomb has been unearthed.
Believed to be over 2,000 years old, archaeologists say it
could be the final resting place of a king.
It appears that none of the artefacts have been stolen, which is rare as the tomb has been around for 2,600 years.
However, it was discovered by chance when a pond was being dug last January. The roof of the tomb was damaged during the lucky discovery, so archaeologists were summoned.
Many sites from the Spring and Autumn era have been discovered in the Yishui Area. As the tomb is unveiled, so will the mystery surrounding it.
The ancient tomb was unearthed on a small hill in Yishui County. Called Jiwanggu Hill, it is the subject of a legend that has been passed down from generation to generation.
It is said that the king of the State of Ji in the Spring and Autumn Era was exiled here with his concubines. And from then, the king and his descendants lived on this hill.
Over the years, many historic sites like the just-discovered tomb, appear to support the legend of the monarch and his many concubines.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Ruins of ancient town found in China's largest desert

The ruins of ancient Niya city, 100 km away from the newly-discovered ruins.

QIRA, Xinjiang, April 20 (Xinhua) -- Chinese archeologists working in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region have found the ruins of an ancient town in the country's largest desert. The town, covering at least 65,000 square meters, was uncovered last week in the Taklimakan Desert in Qira county, Hotan prefecture, Dr. Wu Xinhua, head of the Xinjiang archeological team of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said Friday. Judging from the layout and ruins of the buildings, Wu and his colleagues believe the town dates back to the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD220). Most of the ruins have been buried by sand, but four city walls are still visible, said Dr. Wu. The innermost city wall extends 17.8 meters from south to north and 14.6 meters from east to west, he said. "Ruins of a building were found in the southeastern corner of the inner circle." The second city wall surrounds the city center, a 4,000-square-meter area dotted with the ruins of toppled pillars, beams and pieces of red pottery, he said. The third wall was presumably a "boulevard," and large amounts of carbonized jujube and poplar seeds have been unearthed from this wall, said Dr. Wu. Ruins of several residential structures were found between the "boulevard" and the outer wall, a fence built with reeds, he said. Wu said the ruins are the most intact of their kind to be discovered in the Taklimakan Desert since New China was founded in 1949. "We assume the place was either a military fortress or the residence of a chieftain." Dr. Tang Zihua, a member of the archeological team, has taken samples of the weeds and trees he collected at the site for lab tests in Beijing. "We'll use carbon-14 to date them," said Tang, a researcher from the Chinese Academy of Sciences' Institute of Geology and Geophysics. Judging from the abundant plants and lumber found among the building materials, Tang said the area, now arid year-round, must have had ample water resources during the Han Dynasty. The southern end of the ancient Silk Road, a major historical trade route, went across the Taklimakan Desert, and a wide variety of cultural heritage items have been buried in what is now known as the "sea of death." Today, the name of the Taklimakan Desert, which covers 337,000 square km, is often translated as, "Once you're trapped, there's no escape." In 1901, British explorer Marc Aurel Stein trekked into the ruins of Niya, an ancient Pompeii-like city with homes, Buddhist stupas, temples, pottery kilns, orchards, tombs, waterways and dams far out in the desert. The newly-discovered ruins are about 100 km from the ancient city of Niya.

The Han Dynasty Cities of Chun’an and Sui’an


Qingdao Lake is located in Chun’an County in Hangzhou and is a very popular tourist site in China. For a very long time, nobody knows that there are two underwater cities lying deep under the Qiandao Lake. The two ancient cities, called Chun’an and Sui’an, were built in A.D.208 in the Han Dynasty. The Sui’an ancient city is also known as the Lion City due that there is the Lion Mountain nearby. Sleeping quietly for more than half a century, recently, with the persistent efforts of photographers, the mystery of these thousands years old underwater ancient cities has finally been uncovered.

Photo shows the remains of the underwater cities of Qiandao Lake.
 
Photo shows historical documents about an arch of the underwater city.
People’s Daily Online

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Marco Polo really did go to China, maybe!


A meticulous description of currency and salt production could restore Marco Polo's honor by proving  that he really did go to China, a new study into the explorer's accounts of the Far East suggests.
"Polo was not a swindler," said Hans Ulrich Vogel, Professor of Chinese Studies at the German University of Tübingen.
Vogel reexamines the great Venetian traveler in a new book entitled "Marco Polo Was in China."
"The strongest evidence is that he provided complex and detailed information about monetary conditions, salt production, public revenues and administrative geography which have been overlooked so far, but are fully corroborated in Chinese sources," Vogel told Discovery News.
The historian noted that these Chinese sources were collated or translated long after Marco Polo’s time.
"So he could not have drawn on them. He could not even read Chinese," he said.
Although there is no doubt Polo existed -- traces of his family home are still around in Venice -- many have questioned whether the 13th-century traveler actually made it to China.
Skeptics argue that his famous travelogue Description of the World, commonly called The Travels of Marco Polo, does not mention several distinctive features of the Chinese society.
Born around 1254 in the Venetian Republic, Polo claimed that he reached China with his merchant father and uncle in 1275, at age 17. He would spend the next 24 years venturing into the Far East China, serving for some years in the court of Mongol emperor Kublai Khan.
The story of the explorer's return to Venice in 1295 and of the subsequent coup de theater when he threw back his Tartar clothes and allowed precious stones to cascade over the floor, has become part of the Polo legend.
Since the mid-eighteenth century, doubts have been raised about Marco Polo’s presence in China.
Historian Frances Wood argued in her 1995 book "Did Marco Polo Go to China?" that the famous explorer didn't even get beyond Constantinople. He would have made the rest of the trip up, with the help of an imaginative ghostwriter, Rustichello da Pisa, cobbling together details provided by fellow traders who had actually been there.
Although Polo's tales of exotic lands inspired Columbus and became the model for generations of explorers, scholars wondered why he did not mention tea, chopsticks, the Chinese writing system, and the practice of binding women's feet.
Furthermore, there is no mention of the Great Wall, while Marco, his father and his uncle are not recorded in any Chinese document.
According to Vogel, skeptics have often overestimated the frequency of documentation and the intentions of Chinese historiographers.
"Even Giovanni de Marignolli (1290-1357), an important papal envoy at the court of the Yuan rulers, is not mentioned in any Chinese sources – nor his 32-man retinue, nor the name of the pope," he said.
As for the Great Wall, new research has established that it did not exist at the time.
"The original wall had long since disintegrated, while the present structure -- a product of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) -- was yet to be erected," said Vogel.
Other historians have used these arguments to rehabilitate the Venetian traveler, but Vogel used new data, focusing on a largely neglected part of Polo's travelogue.
"He is the only one to describe precisely how paper for money was made from the bark of the mulberry tree. Not only he detailed the shape and size of the paper, he also described the use of seals and the various denominations of paper money," said Vogel.
According to the historian, Polo's Travels is not a 13th century guidebook to China - on the contrary, it's a rather dry manual to the commerce of the Silk Road.
"Marco Polo reported on the monopolizing of gold, silver, pearls and gems by the state – which enforced a compulsory exchange for paper money," said Vogel.
"He described the punishment for counterfeiters, as well as the 3% exchange fee for worn-out notes and the widespread use of paper money in official and private transactions," he added.
Vogel noted that Polo is also the only one among his contemporaries to explain that paper money was not in circulation in all parts of China, but was used primarily in the north and in the regions along the Yangtze.
According to Polo, cowries, salt, gold and silver were the main currencies in other parts of China such as Fujian and Yunnan.
"This information is confirmed by archaeological evidence and Chinese sources compiled long after Polo had written his Travels," Vogel said.
The Venetian traveler's description of salt production was also accurate and unique. Not only he listed the most important salt production centers, but described the methods used to make salt and detailed the value of salt production.
"Polo knew what he was talking about. His reports about monetary conditions, salt production and revenue, public finance and administrative geography are more precise and accurate than of all other Western, Persian or Arabian authors taken together," Vogel said.
"This and other information, the accuracy of which has not yet been fully appreciated, indicate that Marco Polo really did serve the Great Khan," he concluded.
Photo: Miniature from "The Travels of Marco Polo". Wikimedia Commons
Source article: Discovery News 

International Dunhuang Project – Reuniting dispersed information around the globe


Highly ambitous collaboration of various international institutions for preserving and cataloguing materials like manuscripts, printed documents or paintings that were discovered along the Silk Road in the early 20th century. Providing free online access to images and related information, IDP is a truly valuable source not only for researchers but for anyone interested in the heritage of the Silk Road.
“[...] The turmoil of the twentieth century meant that conservation and cataloguing were delayed, further hindering access. Following a conference in 1993 to discuss the problem of preservation and access, The International Dunhuang Project (IDP) was formed in 1994 with external funds out of a desire by the holding institutions to work together to rectify this by reuniting all these artefacts through the highest quality digital photography, by coordinating international teams of conservators, cataloguers and researchers to ensure the objects’ preservation and cataloguing, and by pushing the limits of new web technologies to make this material accessible to all. [...]”
Learn more about the International Dunhuang Project and visit their website: International Dunhuang Project – idp.bl.uk
The current issue of IDP’s Newsletter is dedicated to the Diamond Sutra, which is considered to be the world’s earliest example of a printed book, that remains almost unspoiled until today. Also accessible online, it features a digitalized version of the complete scroll!
Read the current issue here: IDP Newsletter