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Christoph Baumer
Southern Silk Road - In the Footsteps of Sir Aurel Stein and Sven Hedin
Orchid Press: Bangkok 2000.
Paperback mit Innenklappen, zahlreiche Farbabbildungen.
ISBN 974-8304-39-6

The Tarim Basin in Central Asia is, historically speaking, one of the most fascinating places in the world. Located in his huge basin is the Taklamakan Desert, crossed for thousands of years, to the rhythms of camel caravans, by traders of the ancient Silk Road. This area became a melting pot of various religious traditions and cultural influences. It became a meeting point of Indian, Chinese, Iranian and Mongolian peoples, to name but a few; it became a bridge between East and West long before modern globalization. In the footsteps of caravans, unfolds the enthralling story of the fabled commercial product, silk.
In this book the author, Dr. Christoph Baumer, presents all the most important ancient cities of the Taklamakan, namely Dandan Oilik, Endere, Karadong, Loulan, Mazar Tagh, Miran, Niya and Rawak. The author, after Sir Aurel Stein and a Chinese archaeologist, is the third person to have visited and explored all these historical places.
This book is generously illustrated with original photos made by the author, images that reveal the magic and mystery of a human heritage almost beyond mere verbal description. Here is a taste of what is most adventurous and surprising in archeology and history of art.
The knowledge gained by Sir Aurel Stein and Sven Hedin, both pioneers in the field, is recorded and examined. The author also writes about the newest most fascinating discoveries made in the Tarim Basin and elaborates on the stunning results of the Sino-French excavations made in Karadong. He tells the tale of knowledge gained through the most recent discoveries of mummies, knowledge that throws much light on the lives, struggles and migrations of the old Indo-European population in the Taklamakan.
We accompany the author who is the first explorer in many decades to have visited and conducted excavations in Dandan Oilik and, most dignificant, to have mapped the area.
The tale of the ancient Silk Road that unfolds will engross and bewitch every person who wants to trace the footsteps of humanity across the ages. It is an inspiration to all who marvel at what man has contrived to his profit and adcancement on the long trek through the millenia; an absorbing ballad of interaction of the world's great cultures and religions; a revealing tale of political strife and commercial hegemony.

Christoph Baumer, born in 1952, studied philosophy, psychology and history of art at the University of Zürich and holds adoctorate. He has travelled extensively in Central Asia, China and Tibet and has published books and articles on these areas. He is a Fellow of the Royal asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland.

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