The Stein Collection

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artist
Unknown
attributions_note
bibliography
Stein, Aurel, Serindia: Detailed Report of Exploration in Central Asia and Westernmost China Carried Out and Described Under the Orders of H.M Indian Government , 5 vols (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1921), vol. I, p.263.
collection_code
EAS
credit
Stein Textile Loan Collection. On loan from the Government of India and the Archaeological Survey of India. Copyright: Government of India.
date_end
0200-12-31
date_start
0100-01-01
date_text
100-200 (made)
descriptive_line
Triangular piece of leather with some fur present.
dimensions
Length: 10.2 cm, Width: 5 cm
edition_number
event_text
exhibition_history
gallery
historical_context_note
Niya includes a group of towns in the southern region of the Taklamakan Desert, at the foot of the Kunlun mountains. Once a military post under the Kingdom of Khotan, Niya became an important oasis along the southern Silk Road. Stein excavated several groups of dwellings there and found hundreds of wedge-shaped wooden tablets, some laced together in pairs with string and affixed with clay seals. The appearance of Pallas Athena, Eros and other Greek deities on some seals showed the impact of western classical art on Khotan. The tablets were inscribed with Kharoshthi, an ancient script of northwest India. Stein identified some as Buddhist prayers and others as administrative documents and he dated them to the period of the Kushan empire, which thrived in the first three centuries AD. Among ruins of dwellings and orchards, Stein found numerous textile fragments, Roman coins, wooden furniture with elaborate carving, pottery, Chinese basketry and lacquer, and documents in Chinese script which he dated to the Han Dynasty (206 BC-220 AD). The V&A holds, on loan, a large number of textiles from Niya, including leather, wool yarn, appliqu├ęd and stitched wool felt, and braided animal hair.
historical_significance
history_note
id
14405
label
last_checked
2014-08-29T20:14:07.000Z
last_processed
2014-08-29T20:14:07.000Z
latitude
37.062801
location
In Storage
longitude
82.67202
marks
materials
leather
materials_techniques
Leather
museum_number
LOAN:STEIN.161
museum_number_token
loanstein161
object_number
O89480
object_type
Fragment
on_display
original_currency
original_price
physical_description
Triangular piece of buff coloured leather, with some fur still present.
place
Niya
primary_image_id
production_note
production_type
public_access_description
This fragment is of buff coloured leather, with some fur still present. It is unclear what this piece would have been used for, although it is likely to have had a utilitarian function. It was recovered from the site of Niya, which dates from the 2nd to the 3rd century AD. Niya was probably the capital city of the kingdom of Shanshan whose people were of Indian origin. The site of Niya is remarkable for the carved wooden capitals, beams and balustrades that show similarities to the western classical decoration that filtered through Iran and Northwest India. The site is also part of an area of Central Asia we now call the Silk Road, a series of overland trade routes that crossed Asia from China to Europe. The most notable item traded was silk. Camels and horses were used as pack animals and merchants passed the goods from oasis to oasis. The Silk Road was also important for the exchange of ideas. Whilst silk textiles travelled west from China, Buddhism entered China from India in this way. This textile was brought back from Central Asia by the explorer and archaeologist Sir Marc Aurel Stein (1862-1943). The V&A has around 650 ancient and medieval textiles recovered from the Silk Road by Stein at the beginning of the 20th century. Some are silk while others are made from the wool of a variety of different animals.
related_museum_numbers
rights
2
shape
site_code
slug
the-stein-collection-fragment-unknown
sys_updated
2014-07-31T00:00:00.000Z
techniques
title
The Stein Collection
updated
vanda_exhibition_history
year_end
200
year_start
100