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ANCIENT KHOTAN - PHOTOGRAPHS

 
 

Sir M. Aurel Stein
Oxford Clarendon Press, 1907

 
 

These are the photographs Stein included in the official report of the first expedition - 1900-01- from India into Chinese Turkestan Ancient Khotan. The text is here. On this expedition Stein traveled from Kashgar to Khotin and spent his time around that city, going as far east as Niya and Endere, so the illustrations and more numerous in that area than are those in Serindia and Innermostasia. The photographs are mostly in volume I. Volume II contains some photographs also, but is mostly devoted to plates showing artifacts collect on the sites and diagrams plans of some fortification.The printing of the available copy is much less sharp in the illustrations in comparison with Serindia and Innermostasia. Some of the same photographs are in Sand Buried Ruins of Khotan.

 
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Ancient Khotan 1 - Rock-carved relief near Napur, Gilgit - In the northwest territories of India (now Pakistan) only recently pacified by the British

 
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Ancient Khotan 2 - Castle of Mir of Hunza at Baltit - north of Gilgit on the way to China. The picture is also in Sand Buried Ruins of Khotan.

 
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Ancient Khotan 3 - Mount Rakiposhi, seen from Aliabad, Hunza - the mountain is south of Hunza between it and Gilgit - The picture is also in Sand Buried Ruins of Khotan.

 
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Ancient Khotan 4 - Ruined stupa at Thol, Hunza - Stein was an expert in Buddhist architecture and art from years of study in India, finding places mentioned by medieval Chinese Buddhist pilgrims was one of his main goals.

 
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Ancient Khotan - 5 - Wakhis settled at Khaibar, Hunza - Stein noted the porous frontiers and the numbers of Afghans who had crossed into India. He made a special effort to photograph ethnic samples along the route.

 
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Ancient Khotan6 - Kanjutis at Misgar - another small mountain tribal ethnic group. The picture is also in Sand Buried Ruins of Khotan.

 
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Ancient Khotan 7 - Glaciers at source of Oxus, seen from approach to Wakhjir Pass (photo-theodolite view) - Stein made extensive use of his surveying knowledge and equpment.

 
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Ancient Khotan 8 - Kilik Pass, looking south from Khush-bel spur

 
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Ancient Khotan9 - Interior of ruined town, Tash-kurghan, looking north-east towards Shindi defile.

 
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Ancient Khotan 10 - Chinese fort within ruined town, Tash-kurghan - Stein diplomatically refrained from doing obvious survey in this Chinese town.

 
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Ancient Khotan 11 - Muztagh-ata peak, seen from Shamalda ridge - Stein was determined to climb this iconic massive and did manage to reach about 20,000 feet where his guides faltered. He was attempting to do Sven Hedin one better.

 
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Ancient Khotan 12 - Muztagh-ata peak, seen from Lake Little Kara-kul - the mountain is in China but close to the Russian border (now Tajikistan).

 
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Ancient Khotan 13 - Ruined stupa and mound of Mauri-tim, seen from south-west - This is a painting done by Stein's good friend, F. Andrews - the ruin and 'tim' is a short ride north of Kashgar. Stein was curious to see it while his expedition was being organized in Kashgar.

 
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Ancient Khotan 14 - Ruined stupa of Kurghan-tim, seen from north - close to Kashgar

 
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Ancient Khotan 15a - Mecca pilgrims from Kashgar - Stein never missed a chance to photograph locals.

 
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Ancient Khotan15 - Mosque and tank at Yetimlukum, Karghalik

 
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Ancient Khotan 16 - Yetimlukum Mazar with cemetery, near Karghalik

 
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Ancient Khotan 17 - Kaptar-khana ruin near Khan-ui, Besh-karim

 
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Ancient Khotan 18 - Kepek-gholuk Mazar, near Moji - poor photo

 
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Ancient Khotan 19 - Ruined mound of Karakir-tim, near Pialma

 
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Ancient Khotan 20 - Eroded ranges towards Kara-kash river gorge, seen from above Yagan-dawan - Stein tried several times to reach the sources of the Kara-kash from Khotan going directly south but was blocked by the narrow gorges - during the second expedition he went around the Kun-lun and found the sources from the east side. The photo gives some idea of the terrain he was attempting to best.

 
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Ancient Khotan 21 - Kun-lun range with glaciers of Nissa valley, seen from above Brinjak pass - Having been blocked going south Stein returned to Khotan via a different route through Nissa valley and over Brinjak pass.

 
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Ancient Khotan22 - Tawakkel labourers brought to Dandan-uiliq - Tawakkel was oasis in desert north of Khotan from which with the support of the Chinese Amban Stein hired laborers to strike further into the desert to Dandan-uiliq, one of his first major excavation sites.

 
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Ancient Khotan23 - Taghliks and exiled Khotan criminals at Karanghu-tagh - Karanghu-tagh was the furtherest south village that Stein reached in his effort to penetrate the Kun-lun - there the locals refused to go further. The very difficult living there was considered appropriate punishment for local minor criminals.

 
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Ancient Khotan24 - Mazar of Kohmari - the shrine and dwelling for local caretakers outside the famous cave

 
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Ancient Khotan 25 - Entrance to sacred cave of Kohmari hill - This cave was visited by Stein's favorite Chinese Buddhist pilgrim in the 7th century, so Stein was determined to find it located southwest of Khotan

 
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Ancient Khotan 26 - North-west corner of excavated area at Yotkan, with entrance to Yotkan-yar - Yotkan was the medieval capital and predecessor of Khotan town - located in its western suburb. A few years prior to Stein's visit a flood had dug a channel exposing deep layers of the ancient remains in which there were significant flakes of gold and other artifacts. This set the local population into gold digging and excavating wider and wider areas - the poor photograph illustrates the results as Stein found them. He was eager to buy whatever coins, ceramics or other items he could buy.

 
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Ancient Khotan 27 - South-west banks of excavated area, Yotkan, near Allama hamlet. - Another view of the expanding excavation area - the gold diggers had to pay a rent or royalty to the land owners whose holdings were being destroyed but gold, as always, had its mythical appeal. Apparently the medieval buildings had been covered with gold leaf now found as tiny flakes in the thick layers.

 
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Ancient Khotan 28 - Ruins of Buddhist shrine D ii, Dandan-uiliq, seen from south before excavation. Stein was led to these sites by local 'treasure seekers' who noticed the tops of the buried building posts in the otherwise empty sand dunes.

 
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Ancient Khotan 29 - Ruins of Buddhist shrine D ii, Dandan-uiliq, seen from north-east after excavation - Compare this with the previous photo of the same place still buried in sand. These excavation projects were laborous as the sand would flow back in. But they revealed information that astounded contemporary Europe. Stein always made personal friends of the local Chinese officials whose support was essential for him to obtain laborers and logistic support.

 
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Ancient Khotan 30 - Fresco and relief sculpture in small cella of shrine D ii, Dan-dan-uiliq - The amount of original art work remaining toward the bottom of these buildings depended on how fast the sand came in after the roof and upper reaches collapsed in which case the sand could protect the remaining items.

 
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Ancient Khotan 31 - Small cella of Buddhist shrine D ii, Dandan-uiliq, seen from west after excavation - Another view of the work site.

 
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Ancient Khotan 32 - Ruined dwelling D, iii, Dandan-uiliq, in course of excavation

 
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Ancient Khotan 33 - Interior of ruined dwelling D iii, Dandan-uiliq, after excavation - the same building as in previous photo

 
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Ancient Khotan 34 - Remains of ruined shrine D. iv, Dandan-uiliq

 
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Ancient Khotan 35 - Remains of eastern portion of ruined dwelling D. v, Dandan-uiliq - before excavation

 
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Ancient Khotan 36 - Mazar (shrine) of Burhanuddin-padshahim on Keriya River

 
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Ancient Khotan 37 - Ruined house N. i, Niya site, seen from north-west after excavation - Stein draws attention to the location where the first tablet documents were found under the sand. It was several stray documents shown to him by a local man that drew Stein to this location, which made him famous for the many discoveries there.

 
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Ancient Khotan 38 - Ruined stupa, Niya site, seen from south-east - not much left of this one.

 
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Ancient Khotan 39 - Group of ruined dwellings N,ii, at Niya, seen from south east after excavation - Stein uncovered the remains of an extensive early medieval town that was capital of a local 'kingdom'. Previously unknown, now it appears on standard maps and draws researchers.

 
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Ancient Khotan 40 - Ruined house N, iv, with arbour, Niya site, seen from north-east

 
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Ancient Khotan 41 - Ruins of house N. iii, with fallen garden trees, Niya site, seen from west

 
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Ancient Khotan 42 - Western portion of ruined residence N.iii, Niya site, before excavation - note that even prior to excavation an unusual amount of the building timbers remain above the sand.

 
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Ancient Khotan 43 - Ruins of residence N. iii, Niya site, seen from south-east before excavation

 
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Ancient Khotan 44 - Ruined dwelling N,v, Niya site, seen from south before excavation

 
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Ancient Khotan 45 - Ancient rubbish heap N. xv, Niya site, seen from west in course of excavation

 
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Ancient Khotan 46 - Remains of dwelling completely eroded, near N. xi, Niya site

 
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Ancient Khotan 47 - Remains of ancient trees and tank, near dwelling N. viii, Niya site

 
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Ancient Khotan 48 - Ruined building E. iii, within Endere fort, seen from south-west.

 
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Ancient Khotan 49 - Interior of ruined temple cella E. i, Endere fort, seen from east after excavation

 
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Ancient Khotan 50 - Ruined stupa, Endere site, seen from south-west - note the standing man, Stein usually placed someone in the photo to show scale.

 
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Ancient Khotan 51 - Ruined rampart near gateway, Endere fort, seen from interior

 
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Ancient Khotan 52 - Interior of ruined quadrangle, Kara-dong, seen from north-east after partial excavation

 
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Ancient Khotan 53 - Wooden gateway of ruined quadrangle, Kara-dong, seen from east after excavation

 
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Ancient Khotan 54 - Remains of ruined stupa Arka-kuduk-tim, Hanguya tati, seen from south

 
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Ancient Khotan 55- Remains of deserted modern dwelling, at Kobzagiram-shah, Domoko

 
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Ancient Khotan 56 - Lachin-ata Mazar, seen from west

 
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Ancient Khotan 57 - Portion of north segment of ruined rampart, Ak-sipil, seen from outside

 
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Ancient Khotan58 - Portion of north segment of ruined rampart, Ak-sipil, seen from interior - very poor photo

 
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Ancient Khotan 59 - Ruined stupa of Rawak, seen from south part of court - Discovery of this remarkable Buddhist shrine in the desert was one of the most spectacular of Stein's accomplishments. The location is still a special site with local guard.

 
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Ancient Khotan 60 - Ruined stupa of Rawak with south courner of courst, seen from east at commencement of ecavation

 
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Ancient Khotan 61 - Relief sculptures, R. i - T. v, on inner south-west wall, Rawak stupa court.

 
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Ancient Khotan 62 - Relief sculptures, R. viii - R. xii, on inner south-west wall, Rawak stupa court

 
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Ancient Khotan 63 - Statue of seated Buddha, R. xi, Between colossal reliefs, in inner south corner, Rawak stupa court

 
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Ancient Khotan 64 - Colossal statue, R.xiii, with relief halo, in inner court south corner, Rawak stupa court

 
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Ancient Khotan 65 - Relief sculptures, R. xlix - lii, on outer south-east wall, Rawak stupa court

 
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Ancient Khotan 66 - Colossal statues, R. lxvi - lxxiv, on outer walls of south corner, Rawak stupa court, with remains of outer passage in foreground

 
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Ancient Khotan 67 - Relief sculptures R. xxviii, xxix, with Dvarapalas on right, at gate of Rawak stupa court

 
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Ancient Khotan 68 - Relief sculptures, R lvi - lxi, on outer south-east wall, Rawak stupa court

 
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Ancient Khotan 69 - Relief statues, Ri-iv, on inner south-east wall, Rawak stupa court - Here Stein's labor team are attempting to prevent the statues from crumbling and falling while he can take photos. To preserve them, Stein had them covered with sand.

 
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Ancient Khotan 70 - Turdi Khwaja, of Tawakkel, treasure seeker - Stein was introduced to this expert on the desert when Stein first arrived in Khotan. Turdi had spent years in the desert searching at ruins for meager 'treasures' but was able to guide Stein to sites with real treasures far beyond his imagination. And from Tawakkel he was able to recruit teams of laborers to excavate these ruins. Turdi was delighted to rejoin Stein for futher exploits for on the second expedition.

 
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Ancient Khotan 71 - Islam Akhun, forger of antiques - The full story of this clever scam artist is too long to recount here - read Stein's report - but he had caused quite a sensation in scholarly European circles for years, which Stein very much doubted. Stein sought him out and extracted a confession.

 
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Ancient Khotan 0420a - Sketch depicting the method used by medieval scribes to form a writing surface and envelope for documents on wood.

 
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Ancient Khotan 0421a - Sketch showing how the wooden strips used for documents were tied together and sealed for protection.

 
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Ancient Khotan Vol II - cover page

 
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Ancient Khotan Vol II, LIII - Stucco relief of Buddha or Bodhisattva from shrine D II, Dandan-uiliq

 
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Ancient Khotan Vol II, LIX Portion of fresco painting on stucco, with inscription from wall of shrine D. ii, Dandan-uiliq - and Painted panel, from ruined dwelling, Dandan-uiliq

 
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Ancient Khotan Vol II, LXI - Reverse of painted panel D. vii 6 - from ruined dwelling, Dandan-uiliq

 
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Ancient Khotan Vol II, LX - Obverse of painted panel D vii 6 from ruined dwelling Dandan-uiliq

 
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Ancient Khotan Vol II, Ia, - Mauri-tim Stupa, seen from south

 
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Ancient Khotan Vol II, Ib - Ruined stupa and mound of Maujri-tim, seen from south-east

 
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Ancient Khotan Vol II, II - Fresco and stucco relief in small cella of shrine D II, Dandan-uiliq -

 
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Ancient Khotan Vol II, IIIa - Fresco from outer south wall of passage, shrine D. II, Dandan-uiliq

 
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Ancient Khotan Vol II, IIIb - Frescos on inner walls of passage, shrine D.II, Dandan-uiliq, seen from south-east - Stein drew attention to the use of template and multiple copies of the figure.

 
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Ancient Khotan Vol II, Va - Fresco on the south wall of cella D. xii, Dandan-uliq

 
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Ancient Khotan Vol II, Vb - Ruined cells D. xii, Dandan-uiliq, after excavation

 
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Ancient Khotan Vol II, VIa - Room N. i, First find-placed of inscribed tablets, Niya site, seen from north after excavation - This even was a defining moment for Stein and he wanted to preserve it in records. The rare documents (unique) he found at Niya made him famous.

 
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Ancient Khotan Vol II, VI b - Room N. i, in ruined house N. i, Niya site, seen from south before excavation.

 
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Ancient Khotan Vol II, VIIa - North wall of hall in ruined house N. iii, Niya site after excavation

 
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Ancient Khotan Vol II, VIIb - South wall in hall of ruined house N. iii, Niya site, after excavation

 
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Ancient Khotan Vol II, VIIIa - Architectural wood-carving from ruined house, N. viii, Niya site

 
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Ancient Khotan Vol II, VIIIb - Ancient chair and other wood-carvings found in house N. iii, Niya site

 
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Ancient Khotan Vol II, X - Fresco in chapel E. ii, Endere fort

 
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Ancient Khotan Vol II, Xb - Underground room, with fire-place, in dwelling E. v, Endere fort

 
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Ancient Khotan Vol II, XVI a - Relief sculptures R xiv R - on outer south-east wall, Rawak Stupa Court - Stein made this series of photographs but could not detach an safe the remains of these large sculptures, which were fragile and about to crumble in place. He reburied them but later explorers damaged them.

 
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Ancient Khotan Vol II, XVI b - Relief sculptures R xiv R - on outer south-east wall, Rawak Stupa Court - Stein made this series of photographs but could not detach an safe the remains of these large sculptures, which were fragile and about to crumble in place. He reburied them but later explorers damaged them.

 
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Ancient Khotan Vol II, XVI c - Relief sculptures R xiv R - on outer south-east wall, Rawak Stupa Court - Stein made this series of photographs but could not detach an safe the remains of these large sculptures, which were fragile and about to crumble in place. He reburied them but later explorers damaged them.

 
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Ancient Khotan Vol II, XVI d - Relief sculptures R xiv R - on outer south-east wall, Rawak Stupa Court - Stein made this series of photographs but could not detach an safe the remains of these large sculptures, which were fragile and about to crumble in place. He reburied them but later explorers damaged them.

 
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Ancient Khotan Vol II, XIX, - Plan of fort and ruined town of Tash-kurghan; - Plan of ruined mound, Karfakir-Tim, Pialma; - Plan of ruined Stupa, Topa-Tim near Kakshal Tati

 
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Ancient Khotan Vol II, XX - Plan of ruined stupa, Kurgham-tim, Kashgar

 
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Ancient Khotan Vol II, XXII - Plan of Mauri-Tim Stupa ruins - Stein was led to this ruin north of Kashgar while he was waiting for the assembly of his caravan

 
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Ancient Khotan Vol II, XXIII - Map showing portions of the Borazan and Tosalla tracts, Khotan oasis - Stein was particularly interested in this area because it was location of several Buddhist shrines visited by medieval Chinese pilgrims whose accounts he followed. Closer in was the location of the medieval capital - Yoktan - and the large excavation area under which - shown on map - where remains of gold leaf and ceramics were being unearthed.

 
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Ancient Khotan Vol II, XXIV - Plan of ruined site, Dandan-Uiliq - located in Taklamakan desert north of Khotan - one of the first excavations Stein undertook after being led there by local 'treasure seekers'

 
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Ancient Khotan Vol II, XXV - Plan of southern group of ruined buildings, Dandan-Uiliq

 
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Ancient Khotan Vol II, XXVI - Plan of ruined structures D vi, D vii, Dandan-Uiliq - Plan of ruined shrine and house D iv, D v, Dandan-Uiliq

 
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Ancient Khotan Vol II, XXVII - Site plan of ancient site beyond the Niya river - This place became famous and made Stein famous for the wealth of unique medieval documents he recovered under the sand in ruined buildings. He was led there by the chance discovery and retention of one such document by a local worker. The site is well into the Taklamakan desert north of the last inhabited oasis and mazar. He returned to Niya on subsequent expeditions

 
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Ancient Khotan Vol II, XXVIII - Plan of ruined house N.1, ancient site beyond the Niya river (beyond means north of the last gasp of the river in the desert). This is the first ruin to which Stein was led and the location of his initial recovery, which he takes pains to show on this plan. (See photos). Ram Singh was the first professional surveyors assigned by the Survey of India to assist Stein. He later became too ill for the exertion of desert and mountain work as was replaced by Lal Singh during the second expedition and for the third.

 
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Ancient Khotan Vol II, XXIX - Ruined stupa at Niya - Sketch plan of group of ruined dwellings N ii, ancient site beyond Niya river

 
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Ancient Khotan Vol II, XXX - Plan of ancient residence N. iii, ancient site beyond Niya river

 
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Ancient Khotan Vol II, XXXI - Plan of ruined dwelling N. iv, Niya site beyond the river

 
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Ancient Khotan Vol II - XXXII - Plan of ruined dwelling N. v, ancient site beyond Niya river

 
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Ancient Khotan Vol II, XXXIII - Plans for ruined dwellings N vi and N vii - ancient Niya site

 
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Ancient Khotan Vol II, XXXIV - Plan of northernmost group of ruins and plan of ruined dwelling N viii - Niya site

 
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Ancient Khotan Vol II, XXXV - Plan of ruined dwelling N. ix, ancient site beyond Niya river

 
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Ancient Khotan Vol II XXXVI - Plan of ruined fort, Endere Site - another discovery Stein made during the first expedition to which he returned on later expeditions.

 
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Ancient KhotanVol II, XXXVII - Ruined stupa, Endere Site

 
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Ancient Khotan Vol II, XXXIII - Plan of ruined quadrangle, Karadong site - Stein returned to this site far in the desert north of Khotan after completing work at Endere.

 
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Ancient Khotan Vol II, XXXIX - Plan of extant wall segment of ruined fortification, Ak-sipil and Sections of ruined stupa at Rawak

 
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Ancient Khotan Vol II XL- Plan of ruined Vihara, Rawak - another of the sensational discoveries that Stein found. Note the roman numerals along the southern outer wall. These correspond to the figures in the photographs above - Vol II XVI a, b ,c, d. They were too fragile and large for him to take so he recovered them in sand - but subsequent explorers ruined some, thus his photos are all that remain.

 
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