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: The Clarendon Press, 1921), vol. III. Excavation at site of Mingoi.
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
0700-12-31
date_start
0300-01-01
date_text
300-700 (made)
descriptive_line
Rectangular fragment made of cream-coloured unidentified plant fibre.
dimensions
Length: 9.8 cm, Width: 4.4 cm
edition_number
event_text
exhibition_history
gallery
historical_context_note
Mingoi is located in the foothills of the Tianshan mountain range, on the northern Silk Road. Over a hundred Buddhist cave temples lend the site its name Mingoi, "The Thousand Dwellings". Stein explored a number of shrines here and found remains of colossal statues, fantastic carvings in wood, paintings and stucco reliefs. Depicted on the walls of the caves were Buddha legends, garlands of flowers, swags and tassels, fantastic canopies and mythological beasts. Stein found much evidence that the site had been occupied during the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD) and Song Dynasty (960-1279 AD). Many Chinese coins, dating later than the eight century, had been left as votive offerings. Uygur manuscripts and graffiti indicated that the site had been occupied while the Uygurs controlled the region in the ninth to tenth century. A large amount of fallen brickwork appeared to have been hardened by burning; evidence that the site had been consumed in a large blaze in the second half of the tenth century. The caves also yielded much information about textiles of the period. Many statues were clothed in patterned and embroidered garments of Chinese silk. At their bases, Stein found votive rags of silk and linen. The V&A holds, on loan, several textiles from Mingoi, including plant fibres; plain and pattern woven silk, and also a number of terracotta heads of bodhisattva.
historical_significance
history_note
id
62
label
last_checked
2014-08-29T19:17:46.000Z
last_processed
2014-08-29T19:17:46.000Z
latitude
42.184158
location
In Storage
longitude
84.964111
marks
materials
plant fibre
materials_techniques
Plain woven plant fibre
museum_number
LOAN:STEIN.115
museum_number_token
loanstein115
object_number
O90689
object_type
Fragment
on_display
original_currency
original_price
physical_description
Rectangular monochrome plain weave made of cream-coloured unidentified plant fibre.
place
Mingoi
primary_image_id
production_note
Similar to other fragments found at the Mingoi site, although bear no identifying Stein number itself.
production_type
public_access_description
This textile of plain woven plant fibre was recovered from the site of Mingoi, a Buddhist shrine which dates from the 4th to the 8th century AD. 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 by Stein at the beginning of the 20th century. He made several expeditions to the chain of abandoned oasis settlements in the Silk Road region and each time brought back a wide variety of material. The textiles range in date from the 2nd century BC to the 12th century AD. Some are silk while others are made from the wool of a variety of different animals. Most of the pieces are fragmentary and it is not easy to see what they would originally have been used for. Occasionally, whole items survive such as shoes, purses and religious banners.
related_museum_numbers
rights
2
shape
site_code
slug
the-stein-collection-fragment-unknown
sys_updated
2014-07-31T00:00:00.000Z
techniques
plain weave
title
The Stein Collection
updated
vanda_exhibition_history
year_end
700
year_start
300