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Kizil: On the Silk Road

Rajeshwari Ghose (Editor)
Synopsis With the current focus on globalization has come a revival of interest in the Silk Road, that fabled artery of globalization of the 1st millennium, which linked the great civilizations of China and India, through the vast terrains of Central Asia, and then meandered along to Persia, parts of the Roman Empire, and thence to Europe. This book focuses on the startlingly beautiful Buddhist Cave complex of Kizil, an important conduit in the transmission of Buddhist art and thought along the Silk Road from India to China.  Located in the Xinjiang Autonomous Region of China, the visual imagery at Kizil provides an insight into the process of adoption, adaptation, and transformation of the myriad influences that crisscrossed this region during the 3rd-8th centuries CE, after which period its importance gradually waned.  Apart from the ravages of time, “ archaeological raids” by European explorers in the early decades of the 20th century, misuse of the caves by generations of people, and damage caused during the Cultural Revolution, have all taken their toll.  The current danger is posed by the arrival of tourists from across the world and the ad hoc arrangements made to capture this lucrative market.  This work brings together the writings of eminent scholars who have studied the images at Kizil as well as Kizil artifacts and manuscripts housed in various institutions across the globe. Overall, about 470 square metres of murals were removed at different times in the early 20th century from just this one site and today this vast collection is housed in over 30 institutions across 12 countries.  The printed material on Kizil, and generally on the Silk Road, also remains scattered in obscure publications in different languages.  This volume includes the work of scholars whose contributions are not readily available in English.
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Bibliographic information

Title Kizil: On the Silk Road
Format Hardcover
Date published: 31.12.2008
Edition 1st ed.
Publisher Marg Publications
Language: English
isbn 9788185026855
length 140p., Notes; Plates; Figures; Index; 32cm.