The Stein Collection

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artist
Unknown
attributions_note
bibliography
Stein, Marc Aurel. Serindia: detailed report of explorations in Central Asia and westernmost China. Oxford: Clarendon, 1921, vol. 3, p.1108 Stein, Marc Aurel. Serindia: detailed report of explorations in Central Asia and westernmost China. Oxford: Clarendon, 1921, vol. 4, pl.IV
collection_code
EAS
credit
Stein Loan Collection. On loan from the Government of India and the Archaeological Survey of India. Copyright: Government of India
date_end
0900-12-31
date_start
0100-01-01
date_text
2nd century - 9th century (made)
descriptive_line
Fragment of green glazed roof tile, China.
dimensions
Width: 6.35 cm maximum
edition_number
event_text
exhibition_history
gallery
Ceramics Study Galleries, Asia & Europe, room 137
historical_context_note
Suoyangcheng lies east of Dunhuang on the southern Silk Road. Here Stein found the remains of a town enclosed in massive walls of stamped clay. Outside the city walls were traces of a canal, clay towers and pottery shards. Stein was particularly impressed by a large stupa, which he tentatively dated to the Song Dynasty (960-1279 AD). Nearby were smaller stupas filled with hundreds of miniature clay stupas made from moulds. Fragments of green-glazed pottery, depicting winged dragons, appeared to have come from the roof of a temple, long gone. Within the city walls were mounds of ancient dwellings and refuse heaps. The latter contained fragments of porcelain and glazed stoneware, along with many bronze and copper coins. Most of the coins and pottery dated to the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD) and Sung Dynasty, indicating continuous occupation during this period. The presence of porcelain pieces from the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911 AD) suggested that the site had served as a temporary shelter centuries later. The V&A holds, on loan, shards of blue and white porcelain from the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 AD) and Qing Dynasty, celadon-glazed stoneware dating from the 11th to the twelfth century, and fragments of green-glazed roof tile dating from the second to the ninth century.
historical_significance
history_note
Found at a ruined temple east of the site of Suoyangcheng (So-yang-cheng).
id
106938
label
last_checked
2014-08-30T02:46:19.000Z
last_processed
2014-08-30T02:46:19.000Z
latitude
37.668282
location
Ceramics Study Galleries, Asia & Europe, room 137, case 2, shelf 5
longitude
102.975433
marks
materials
Clay
materials_techniques
Moulded and glazed clay
museum_number
LOAN:INDIA.34
museum_number_token
loanindia34
object_number
O136595
object_type
Tile fragment
on_display
1
original_currency
original_price
physical_description
Fragment of a glazed tile from the roof of a temple. The soft ill-levigated clay is covered with a rough dull green glaze. It bears a moulded design of maybe a dragon with cloud-like wings.
place
Gansu
primary_image_id
production_note
from Suoyangcheng
production_type
public_access_description
This fragment of a glazed tile originally came from the roof of a temple. The soft ill-levigated clay is covered with a rough dull green glaze. It bears a moulded design of maybe a dragon with cloud-like wings. This tile fragment was found at a ruined temple east of the site of Suoyangcheng. Souyangcheng lies ca. 50 km east of Dunhuang, Gansu Province. It is the site of a military town featuring a castle. It was probably first settled during the Tang dynasty (618-907). The Victoria and Albert Museum has more than 70 ceramic fragments and fragments of Buddhist sculptures, as well as around 600 ancient and medieval textiles recovered by Sir Marc Aurel Stein (1862-1943) during his second expedition (1906-8) into Chinese Central Asia, where he once again visited and excavated sites on the southern Silk Road, before moving eastwards to Dunhuang. At Dunhuang, he studied and excavated the Han-dynasty watchtowers to the north of the town, as well as the Mogao cave temples to the southeast, where he acquired material from the Library Cave. From there he moved on to the northern Silk Road, stopping briefly at Turfan sites but not carrying out any excavations. He made a perilous north-south crossing of the Taklamakan desert in order to hasten to Khotan where he excavated more ancient sites, before finishing off his expedition with surveying in the Kunlun Mountains.
related_museum_numbers
rights
2
shape
site_code
VA
slug
the-stein-collection-tile-fragment-unknown
sys_updated
2013-08-16T00:00:00.000Z
techniques
moulded, glazed
title
The Stein Collection
updated
vanda_exhibition_history
year_end
900
year_start
100