STEIN, Sir (Marc) Aurel.

On Ancient Central-Asian tracks.

Brief Narrative of Three Expeditions in Innermost Asia and Northern-Western China.

London: Macmillan and Co., Limited, 1933 Stock Code: 144575
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First edition, first impression, described by Yakushi as a "comprehensive summary of the results of the author's first three Central Asian expeditions and of his researches carried out during the years 1900-16". These archaeological expeditions allowed Stein's "great achievement... to establish the existence of a hitherto lost civilization along the Silk Route in Chinese central Asia" (ODNB).

"Despite the fact that better-financed expeditions from Germany and France (led by Professor Albert Grunwedel and Albert von Le Coq, and Paul Pelliot respectively) worked in the same area, Stein was the first archaeologist to discover evidence of the spread of the Graeco-Buddhist culture of north-west India across Chinese Turkestan and into China itself. Excavating the lost cities of the Silk Road, he found wooden, leather, and paper documents, painted wall panels, sculpture, coins, textiles, and many domestic objects... His search for sites and ancient routes took him deep into the Taklamakan and Lop deserts, from Keriya in the south to Turfan in the north, from Kashgar in the west to Tunhuang (Dunhuang) in the east, across many thousands of miles" (ibid.).

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Large octavo. Original terracotta cloth, spine lettered in gilt, gilt roundel in relief to the front board, top edge gilt, others uncut.


Coloured frontispiece with captioned tissue-guard, and 15 other similar plates, 78 monochrome plates, and 8 extensive folding panoramas, folding coloured map.


Early City of Cardiff public library plate to front pastedown, their neat stamp to half-title recto and title verso, and pp. 35, 162, 331 and 342. Spine a little darkened, a few light patches of rubbing, light soiling to bottom edge, contents with occasional light foxing but generally clean. A very good copy, binding tight with joints and hinges intact.


Howgego IV, S65; Yakushi S338.


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