If you would like to know more about the topics raised in the book Journeys on the Silk Road, the following websites are recommended.
The International Dunhuang Project, which operates as part of the British Library, hosts nearly 300,000 images of sites and artefacts discovered along the ancient Silk Road. Its resources include publiclly accessible photographs from Aurel Stein's expeditions and the Library Cave at Dunhuang's Caves of the Thousand Buddhas, as well as pictures of thousands of arefacts retrieved from the desert sands. Two of the highlights are the Diamond Sutra of 868 — the world's oldest dated printed book — and the world's oldest surviving star chart. An education section also maintains an overview of key topics, such as Buddhism, astronomy, medicine, bookbinding and Stein's canine dynasty.
Many of the objects collected on Aurel Stein's expeditions along the Silk Road ended up at the British Museum, which helped fund his travels. An online tour of items that emerged from the Caves of the Thousand Buddhas can be view via a curated online tour of the museum's holdings. These include silk banners and illustrated sutras.
Caves of the Thousand Buddhas
Responsibility for the Caves of the Thousand Buddhas rests with China's Dunhuang Academy. Its public website contains information in English and Chinese about the academy's work, Dunhuang's significance in ancient times and numerous images that show what the caves look like today.
Aurel Stein was a Hungarian-born explorer who opened the West's eyes to China's past and the transmission of culture along the Silk Road. On online exhbition created by the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and the University of Hong Kong recounts Stein's life and his various expeditions across China.
Visiting the surviving towns of the ancient Silk Road is exciting but sometimes challenging, particularly for the southern arm of the route. But the website Central Asian Traveller stands out for providing advice on sites accessible to travellers. The site includes guidance for seeing Niya (also known as Minfeng), Cherchen (Qiemo), Charklik (Ruoqiang), Keriya (Yutian) and Hotan (Hetian).
Interest in the Caves of the Thousand Buddhas near Dunhuang has seen thousands of people flock to the caves each year. As a cnsequence, the caves are said to be in danger of being loved to death. However, the Getty Conservation Institute is among international organisations helping to preserve the caves and what is said to be the biggest gallery of Buddhist art in the world. The Getty's webiste includes information about this project, being conducted in collaboration with the Dunhuang Academy.