January 14, 2014, by Lindsay Brooke
Rediscover the ancient Silk Road
A new photographic exhibition marking 100 years since archaeologist and explorer Aurel Stein documented the ancient remains on his travels along the Silk Road is being held at the Royal Geographical Society.
Mike Heffernan, Professor of Historical Geography at The University of Nottingham and coordinator of the research network that funded the exhibition, said: “Stein’s astonishing photographs of the ancient settlements of the Taklamakan define the very idea of remoteness – of lost worlds and ancient trading routes. The contemporary photographs provide a fascinating commentary on what has changed, and what has remained the same, in these extraordinary and vulnerable sites.”
Aurel Stein took thousands of photographs and a selection are displayed alongside contemporary photographs of the same sites.
‘Aurel Stein and the Silk Road: a hundred years on’ at the Royal Geographical Society is open until Friday 14 February. It is curated and designed by Vic Swift of the British Library and marks the twentieth anniversary celebrations of the International Dunhuang Project (IDP) at the British Library.
The exhibition is supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and Hahnemühle FineArt (UK). It is the concluding event in the AHRC Research Network on ‘Re-Enacting the Silk Road’, directed by Mike Heffernan and Jean-Xavier Ridon from the University of Nottingham.
Picture credit: Rawak Stupa from above south-west wall. 17 September 1906. British Library