On Ancient Central Asian Tracks

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Book Details

Author  Aurel Stein
Publisher  South Asia Books
Publication Date   May 1, 1998
ISBN  8173031088
Pages  252

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Pages: 253

Preface

This book is meant to present a succinct account of the explorations, antiquarian and geographical, which I had the good fortune to carry out in Chinese Turkistan and adjacent parts of innermost Asia. The years spent on hard travel in those little-known regions, difficult of access and trying in their physical features, remain among the happiest memories of my life. But more strenuous still and longer were the years needed for the elaboration of the abundant scientific results which my three Central-Asian expeditions had yielded.


By the publication of personal narratives on the first two journeys and of eleven heavy quarto volumes of detailed reports on all three, I may well believe my duty done in the matter of record. But with the exception of Rains of Desert Cathay, containing a full account of the personal experiences on my second expedition (1906-08), all the above publications have long ago passed out of print and are now difficult to secure.


Since the last of those labors were disposed of, fully twenty-seven years after my return from the first journey, I have been free to turn to new fields of archeological exploration farther south. But my recollections of those fruitful years spent in the deserts and mountains of innermost Asia are still as fresh and cherished as before. So when the President of Harvard University kindly invited me to deliver a course of lectures at the Lowell Institute, Boston, I gladly availed myself of the opportunity offered to describe the travels and discoveries of those years in a condensed form suited for a wider public.


Considering the great extent and varied character of the explorations, it would have been still more difficult to achieve the requisite condensation had I not been able adequately to illustrate my account of them on the screen. This need made itse

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