- 佛教大学宗教文化ミュージアム研究紀要 (ISSN:13498444)
- vol.10, pp.1-163, 2014-03-30
The purpose of this thesis is to clarify some questionable points in regard to the 4th expedition to Central Asia, specifically China Xinjiang, by Sir Marc Aurel Stein (1862-1943), the archaeological explorer born in Hungary and naturalized later in England. He spent 326 days for the expedition, leaving Srinagar in Kashmir on Aug. 11, 1930, and arriving back there July 2, 1931. During this period, even though Sir Aurel Stein encountered such troubles as "the cancellation of the visa and an immediate deportation" directed by the Government of the Republic of China, he struggled to reach the Niya ruins where he had established "glorious achievements" through three previous expeditions. He managed to excavate and collect 130 or so antiquities in the Niya ruins and others, all the while avoiding the Government's observers. I have visited Xinjiang more than 140 times since 1982 and worked on numerous Japan-China joint activities, including the restoration and preservation of the Kizil grottoes, archaeological research of the Niya ruins, archaeological research of the DandanOilik ruins along with the conservation of its wall paintings, a network to raise awareness of cultural property protection (www.wenbao.net.), and a provision of a grant for researchers engaged in conserving cultural relics. The results of this research and these studies were disclosed via reports and symposiums, and the efforts of Chinese as well as Japanese researchers are still being made. I also had an opportunity to present much of the research about the Niya and DandanOilik ruins at the "International Conference-Archaeology of the Southern Taklamakan: Hedin and Stein's Legacy and New Explorations," which was held in November 2012 at the British Library.Stein's reports helped me greatly as useful references in the course of researching in the Taklamakan Desert, which led me to become interested in his way of life and to write this thesis. As I have been fortunate to know Xinjiang very well along with the desert research noted above, I am in a somewhat better position to come to grips with Stein's undertakings than the academic scholars of Central Asia and the so-called "Silk Road enthusiasts." While Stein's first (1900-1901), second (1906-1908), and third (1913- 1916) expeditions were well known because a massive volume of his reports on those expeditions was published due to the great success of them, the report of his fourth expedition (1930-1931) was not issued due to a humiliating failure. Thus his expeditions to Central Asia were thought to be only three until recently and the fourth expedition was not well-known. As information of this expedition has gradually spread in recent years, the archival records of the fourth expedition were beginning to be disclosed. Yet there remain a number of unclear points. As references for my research, I have mainly used the following materials. The Xinjiang Archaeological Archives of Modern Foreign Explorers, Archives of Stein's Fourth Expedition to Xinjiang, and Historical Archival Documents of Sino-Sweden Scientific Expedition to North-West China, all of which were published jointly with Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region Archives. "Stein's Diary" was acquired from the Bodleian Libraries of Oxford University, and the "Stein-related Archives" was acquired from the British Museum – both of which deserve deep thanks and support. I also refer to Jeannette Mirsky, SIR AUREL STEIN : ARCHAEOLOGICAL EXPLORER published by University of Chicago Press in 1977; Susan Chan Egan, A LATTERDAY CONEFUCIAN: Reminiscences of William Hung published by Harvard University in 1987; Shareen Blair Brysac, Last of the Foreign Devils, Archaeology published by the Archaeological Institute of America in 1997; Annabel Walker, AUREL STEIN-PIONEER OF THE SILK ROAD published by University of Washington Press in 1998; Helen Wang, Sir Aurel Stein in The Times published by Saffron Books in 2002; and Wang Ji Qing, Deliberations on Stein's Diary of the Fourth Archaeological Expedition to China published by Gansu Educational Publisher in 2004. I would like to express my sincere appreciation to all parties mentioned above, as they provided me with important information and inspiration. Why did people like Professor Paul J. Sachs at the Fogg Art Museum of Harvard University, who understood how the views on cultural heritage were drastically changing among the Chinese (specifically scholars in Beijing), propose the Xinjiang expedition to Stein with a $100,000 grant? Especially considering that the funds were proposed following the Great Crash at the New York Stock Exchange (Oct. 24, 1929), which triggered the Great Depression? Harvard University envisioned filling the Fogg Art Museum with relics excavated in Central Asia. Langdon Warner at the Fogg Art Museum was not allowed to remove some parts of a wall surface on his second visit to Dunhuang. To make their wish come true they hired Stein as a "professional" explorer. America, a country with a short history, was longing for ancient cultural heritage. During the "Museum Era," when museums were being built one after another, people satisfied their desires with a variety of art pieces and antiques. Why did England, including its Indian Empire, continue to support Stein's Xinjiang expedition? Stein had brought a large volume of Central Asia's relics, including those from Niya, DandanOilik, Loulan, and Dunhuang, to the British Empire while championing the norms of the Imperialism Age. He was considered a great hero in terms of culture, similar to a general winning a war. To seize those relics by endorsing him was one of the best ways to show how great this imperial power was. I am wondering why a person such as Stein, who was superb in collecting information and familiar with Chinese affairs, misread thesituation in those days. Harvard University invited Stein to deliver a series of lectures at the Lowell Institute at the age of 67 just one year after he retired from the Archaeological Bureau of the Indian Empire. We can sense the desire of both Stein and Sachs for relics through their correspondences. Mirsky referred to Stein's attempt to climb Mount Mustagh Ata on his first Central Asia expedition in a rivalry with Hedin. While Hedin was proceeding with comprehensive research of the Chinese northwestern area jointly with China, Stein thought he could singlehandedly manage this expedition with British diplomatic power as well as his own exploring capabilities overriding objections from John Leighton Stuart and William Hung from the Harvard side. In the end of April the next year, he arrived in Nanjing to discuss acquisition of a visa with British Minister Miles Lampson on the 28th. The following day, the minister visited the director of the Nanjing Government's Foreign Affairs, Wang Zheng Ting, to submit memorandums regarding both Stein's expedition and arms exports requested by the Xinjiang Province. He pressed for the issuance of Stein's visa. On May 1, Stein, along with Minister Lampson, visited the Director of Foreign Affairs, Wang, to explain the expedition plan and request the visa. The visa was issued on May 6th and received 7th. The reason Stein asked the British Museum to subsidize the Harvard proposal was that he focused more on Great Britain's diplomatic power rather than on financial assistance. The visa could not have been issued without British involvement. The interpretation of this visa was widely different between the Chinese side and Stein, which led to the subsequent turmoil. The visa was described as " 遊歴護照", meaning "a travel passport." Minister Lampson also cited in his telegram of June 12, 1930, to the Secretary of Foreign Affairs of the Indian Empire, "Stein has merely been furnished with a passport for ordinary travel in Hsinchiang and Inner Mongolia, and, if he intends to collect antiquities and remove them from the country, he should submit to the Institute a statement of the object, scope and plans of his proposed research and obtain their approval." However, according to Stein's counterstatement (dated May 10, 1931) sent from Kashgar during his exploration to address reproaches from both the Chinese Foreign Affairs and the National Commission for the Preservation of Antiquities, "I received a passport authorizing me to travel in Hsin-chiang and Inner Mongolia for archaeological purposes, this permission being understood to include needful surveys…. It was on a definite understanding that I was to be allowed to examine and, where necessary, to clear any ancient ruins traced." He stated in "The Times" on July 16, 1931 on his way back to Srinagar: "Passport was understood to provide also permission for such survey work." And in the preface of the research report conducted in India and Iran, Archaeological Reconnaissance's in North-Western India and South Iran (1937), he stated, "…to obtain the issue by the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs of a passport authorizing me to trace and closely investigate ancient remains in Hsing-chiang and Inner Mongol." Thus, both parties argued on different planes, and Stein was thwarted from entering China. Minister Lampson worked hard to successfully let him enter the country, but he was stuck in Kashgar. Finally, thanks to the tremendous efforts made by Consul General George Sherriff and others, Stein could proceed eastward on the South Road of the Taklamakan Desert on November 11, 1930. Observers dispatched by the Government accompanied him. Every trick came into play on the Stein side, wishing to reach neighboring Keriya without letting them know their true destination -- the Niya ruins. The Xinjiang side wanted to summon Stein to Urumqi to check on his intention. The scene was described in lurid detail in the Xinjiang archives, Stein's diary, and in the British Government's archives. Developing bronchitis, Stein had to stay in Keriya for treatment for 20 days or so. Soon afterward he advanced to the Niya ruins to research there for about a week and collected a number of relics. In spite of being summoned to come to Urumqi by Jin Shu Ren, the Chairman of Xinjiang Province, Stein ignored it because he may have anticipated that it was risky to return to Kashgar via Keriya carrying the relics. Thus he took a detour by circling the Taklamakan Desert and stopping at Cherchen, Charkliq, Korla, Kucha and Aksu. He finally returned to Kashgar on April 25, 1931. Stein negotiated through the Consul General to bring back the relics he had collected from the Niya ruins for research and then return them to China. But as his request ended in rejection, Stein had no choice but to leave Kashgar for home on May 18. Why did Stein "dig up" the Niya ruins despite the fact that research and excavations were forbidden? The collections of the ruins in Niya and other places rewarded him with the title of "Sir" as well as being naturalized in Britain. He needed to secure that honor first of all. He also had to perform "the relics providing agreements" with Harvard University and the British Museum. Stein also put the words "complete cleaning" in his dairy in place of "excavation" and let his Indian and Uygurian subordinates work ahead of him. Meanwhile, he kept records in a tent to keep the observers off guard. He also made investigations while the observers were sleeping. And what kinds of actions were taken domestically in China, including by the Central Government, Xinjiang and local regions? Social turmoil was prevailing there soon after the establishment of the Republic of China, intensive intrusion by foreign powers, and rivalry between the local warlords. In fact, the Xinjiang Province took a different tack from the Central Government. Concerning local treatment for Stein, a welcoming response was recorded thanks to the issue of an arms import in some quarters. Within Xinjiang, conflicting ideas were observed among local governments of Urumqi and other regions. Even among ethnic groups, different views were expressed. Stein received a big welcome from old friends, but some local supporters from the first expedition were arrested and cast into prison. Where are the relics collected by Stein now, as they were forbidden from being removed by the Chinese Government? Is the rumor true that some parts of the banned relics are stored at the British Museum? Though we can verify by Chinese archives that the relics Stein left at the British counsel in Kashgar were actually transported to Urumqi, no one knows their current whereabouts. That is because rumors have been spread that they are at the British Museum, in Beijing or were sold within China. The pictures that were banned from leaving along with relics are now stored at the British Library and at the Library of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. In addition, how should we come to grips with the activities of bringing out cultural materials by explorers from abroad, including Stein's Britain, Germany, Japan, the U.S., and France? From the end of the 19th century through the beginning of the 20th century, when the "exploration boom" was being exploited by the major powers, excavations and removal of artifacts were partly allowed for research purposes. That is why every explorer from any country could hire people at the site and work together with them. However, that way of thinking had changed by the time of Stein's fourth expedition. We have to recognize that the activities conducted up until the third expedition should be clearly distinguished from those of the fourth expedition. It is no wonder that the fourth expedition to Xinjiang is denounced. While ideally cultural materials should be stored where they actually were, we often see examples where removed relics have been preserved, yet those left at sites were destroyed or scattered. England and Russia (the Soviet Union) raged an intelligence-gathering battle to expand territory across the entire Central Asia including Xinjiang after the middle of the 19th century. The explorers of each nation could be called vanguards in the intelligence-gathering battle to acquire territory. Because so many people from England and Russia lived in Xinjiang, somerecords show that it is similar to a settlement, which is the so-called "Great Game." Though we can see an old example of "The Great Game" in the area of the Wakhan Corridor in Afghanistan, it continues now not only in Central Asia but across the world. While the protagonist of Stein's fourth expedition was nobody but Stein himself, the "scriptwriter" and director were Harvard University and the British Empire, respectively. Stein's expeditions and research, which extended over a wide variety of fields, have been highly valued. Their spectrum, depth and volume are almost superhuman. We cannot discuss the history of Central Asia without referring to him just as we cannot easily pass over a huge mountain. It is also noteworthy that he offered what he had done to the public through a massive volume of books. Whereas Stein has been highly regarded in Europe as well as in Japan, the Chinese people consider him to be the epitome of a looter. "The lifetime explorer wandering around strange lands" who turned "his inferiority complex and defiant spirit against an irrelevant discrimination" into his own energy source is sleeping in Kabul.