Golden Buddha, Hidden Copper.
"Twelve years after the Taliban blew up the world-famous Bamiyan Buddhas, a Chinese mining firm -- developing one of the world's largest copper deposits -- threatens to destroy
another of Afghanistan's archeological treasures
." Campaign to Save Mes Aynak
Tibetans May Be Fastest Evolutionary Adapters Ever.
"A group of scientists in China, Denmark and the U.S. recently documented
the fastest genetic change observed in humans. According to their findings, Tibetan adaption to high altitude might have taken just 3,000 years. That's a flash, in terms of evolutionary time, but it's one that's in dispute
Fascinated by the Orient
An exhibition of the letters, photographs and maps bequeathed to the Hungarian Academy of Sciences by the great explorer, archaeologist, geographer
Sir Marc Aurel Stein
. Journeyer in the footsteps of Alexander
of Central Asia
and West China
, surveyor of the antiquities of India
; after a long life of journeying through and studying central Asia, Aurel Stein found his final rest in Kabul
. He is also remembered for rediscovering the oldest dated printed book still in existence, a copy of the Diamond Sutra
in the caves at Mogao
. That the latter and many thousands of other manuscripts collected by Stein now reside in the British Library
is of course, like his other 'treasure hunting'
, not without controversy
Man from the Margin: Cao Cao and the Three Kingdoms
You'll perhaps have read
reports that archaeologists believe they have found the tomb of Cao Cao (曹操) (of course, not everyone agrees
with the identification). Warrior, strategist, statesman and p
, Cao Cao lives on in the cultural memory of China, a by-word for cunning
and of course a central character in the great historical novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms
and hence also recent John Woo blockbuster Red Cliff
. To understand the man in his historical context, there's little better in English than the 1990 George Ernest Morrison Lecture in Ethnology given by now-retired Professor Rafe de Crespigny
, one of the foremost Western scholars of the Han Dynasty and Three Kingdoms periods of Chinese history. He makes several of his vastly erudite essays on Chinese history available at the ANU
What caused the Viking Age?
It has long been a source of, er, conflict among Nordic scholars. A new study
($ub-only) suggests the Viking Age was triggered by a shortage of women
The International Dunhuang Project,
developed jointly by the British Library and the National Library of China, makes thousands manuscripts and paintings from ancient caves and temples along the Silk Road viewable to the public. The artifacts were found in the Dunhuang cave in China in 1900 and dispersed to museums around the world, but now they have been brought together on the web
. And if you want some appropriate music to go with it, check out Yo Yo Ma's Silk Road Project
The Mummies of the Tarim Basin
were discovered fifteen years ago by Chinese archaeologists working in the salty deserts of far western China. These bodies date from between 3,000 and 4,000 years ago and have been preserved so well in the extremely dry salty conditions that some of them look like they're still alive. Even more remarkable is that their clothing is still intact including tapestries and tartans. Finally these people were six feet tall, had long noses and fair hair and there is strong evidence that they spoke a language whose closest relatives are Celtic and Latin.