Sir Marc Aurel Stein (Biographical details)

Sir Marc Aurel Stein (archaeologist; academic/intellectual; Hungarian; British; Male; 1862 - 1943)

Also known as

Stein, Marc Aurel; Stein, Aurel


Archaeologist; geographer. Born in Budapest, Hungary. Adopted British nationality in 1904. Renowned for his archaeological exploration in Eastern Central Asia (1900-01, 1906-08, 1913-16, 1930-31), India, Iran, Iraq and Jordan, and for his pioneering work on the early civilizations of the Silk Road. He is especially famous for the discovery of the hidden library of documents and Buddhist paintings at the Caves of the Thousand Buddhas (Qianfodong) at Dunhuang, Gansu province, China. Archive sources in The British Museum include correspondence to and from Sidney Smith relating to his fieldwork in Iran (ME Correspondence for 1934). He died in Kabul in 1943 where he is buried.

His many publications include the following: 'Ancient Khotan', Oxford 1907 (reprint New York 1975); 'Serindia', Oxford 1921 (reprint Delhi 1980); 'Innermost Asia', Oxford 1928 (reprint Delhi 1981).


Helen Wang (ed), 'Handbook to the Stein collections in the UK', British Museum Occasional Paper 129, London 1999 (includes bibliography) - updated and expanded edition (ed. by Helen Wang and John Perkins); available online
Jeannette Mirsky, 'Sir Aurel Stein, archaeological explorer', Chicago, 1977.
Annabel Walker, 'Aurel Stein, pioneer of the Silk Road', London, 1995.
Helen Wang, 'Sir Aurel Stein in The Times', London, 2002.
Eva Apor and Helen Wang, eds. 'Catalogue of the Collections of Sir Aurel Stein in the Library of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences', Budapest, 2002.
Helen Wang, 'Sir Aurel Stein. Proceedings of the British Museum Study Day, 23 March 2002' (BM OP 142) - includes a catalogue of the Stein papers in BM Central Archives; available online
Helen Wang, ed., 'Sir Aurel Stein. Colleagues and Collections', BM Research Publication 184, 2012; available online
Davids and Jellinek, 2011, p. 411. Frances Wood, 'The Silk Road: Two Thousand Years in the Heart of Asia', 2002; Susan Whitfield with Ursula Sims-Williams, 'The Silk Road: Trade, Travel, War and Faith', 2004,
Lukas Nickel 2013. "China" (section 25.3.1 The Stein Collection), in Dan Hicks and Alice Stevenson (eds) World Archaeology at the Pitt Rivers Museum: a characterization. Oxford: Archaeopress, pp. 511-516.