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China: Documents from Cave 17, Mogao, piled up for examination by Sir Aurel Stein. Dunhuang, 1908.

In the early 1900s, a Chinese Daoist named Wang Yuanlu appointed himself guardian of some of the Mogao Caves. Wang discovered a walled up area behind one side of a corridor leading to a main cave. Behind the wall was a small cave stuffed with an enormous hoard of manuscripts dating from 406 to 1002 CE. These included old hemp paper scrolls in Chinese and many other languages, paintings on hemp, silk or paper, numerous damaged figurines of Buddhas, and other Buddhist paraphernalia. The subject matter in the scrolls covers diverse material. Along with the expected Buddhist canonical works are original commentaries, apocryphal works, workbooks, books of prayers, Confucian works, Daoist works, Nestorian Christian works, works from the Chinese government, administrative documents, anthologies, glossaries, dictionaries, and calligraphic exercises. Wang sold the majority of them to Aurel Stein in 1907 for 220 pounds. (Photo by: Pictures From History/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
China: Documents from Cave 17, Mogao, piled up for examination by Sir Aurel Stein. Dunhuang, 1908.
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Credit:
Pictures from History / Contributor
Editorial #:
1354430957
Collection:
Universal Images Group
Date created:
01 February, 1908
Licence type:
Release info:
Not released. More information
Source:
Universal Images Group Editorial
Object name:
1060_05_cpa0007452
Max file size:
5156 x 3354 px (43.65 x 28.40 cm) - 300 dpi - 6 MB