In this two-volume work, published in 1912, the Hungarian-born archaeologist Marc Aurel Stein (1862-1943) describes his second expedition to the deserts of Chinese Turkestan in 1906-8. (His account of his first expedition, Sand-Buried Ruins of Khotan (1903), is also reissued in this series.) Stein intended this account to be read by non-specialists, and, like his previous book, it is highly illustrated and full of interesting details about his journey and the people he met en route, as well as of the important archaeological discoveries which still link his name with the civilisation of this remote and dangerous area. In Volume 2, Stein describes the discovery of the caves near the great trading post of Dunhuang which contained - walled up and almost perfectly preserved - manuscripts, sculptures, silk cloths, and the Diamond Sutra, the earliest complete and dated example of a printed book, hidden by Buddhist monks nine hundred years previously.
Table of Contents50. Ruins en route to Tun-huang; 51. First halt at Tun-huang; 52. To the 'Caves of the Thousand Buddhas'; 53. A difficult start from Tun-huang; 54. By the ancient wall north of Tun-huang; 55. Discovery of Han records; 56. To the Nan-hu oasis; 57. Ancient remains for the future; 58. First excavations along the western limes; 59. Reconnaissances along the ancient wall; 60. Discoveries by the 'Jade Gate'; 61. The great magazine of the limes; 62. On the western flank of the limes; 63. Records from an ancient watch-station; 64. Return to the 'Thousand Buddhas'; 65. First opening of the hidden chapel; 66. A walled-up library and its treasures; 67. Buddhist pictures from the hidden chapel; 68. large paintings and other art relics; 69. A polyglot temple library; 70. Decorative art at the 'Thousand Buddhas'; 71. At An-hsi, the 'West Protecting'; 72. The ruins of Ch'iap-tzu; 73. The 'Valley of the Myriad Buddhas'; 74. In the mountains of the westernmost Nan-shan; 75. By the gate of the 'Great Wall'; 76. At Su-chou and its 'spring of wine'; 77. Through the Richthofen range of the Nan-shan; 78. Across the To-lai-shan range; 79. From the Su-lo Ho sources to Kan-chou; 80. From Kan-chou to the T'ien-shan; 81. At the Hami oasis; 82. Glimpses of Turfan ruins; 83. Kara-shahr and its old sites; 84. From Khora to Kuchar; 85. In the 'sea of sand'; 86. In a dead delta; 87. Salt marsh or ice?; 88. By the new Keriya river-bed; 89. More Taklamakan ruins; 90. From Ak-su to Yarkand; 91. Preparations at Khotan; 92. In the gorges of Polur and Zailik; 93. To the Yurung-kash glaciers-sources; 94. Across Tibetan plateaus; 95. On an old mountain track; 96. The search for the Yangi Dawan; 97. From the Kun-lun to London; Index.