A new photographic exhibition at the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) rediscovers once-thriving ancient communities along the Silk Road now buried and preserved in the sands of the remote Taklamakan desert.

Aurel Stein and the Silk Road: a hundred years on marks 100 years since archaeologist and explorer Aurel Stein first documented the ancient remains on his travels along the Silk Road – an important trade route between across Eurasia that allowed cultures, technologies and religions to spread on a global scale.

Stein took thousands of photographs, now held at institutions including the RGS-IBG and the British Library, to record archaeological remains dating back around 2,000 years. A selection of these photographs is displayed alongside contemporary photographs of the same sites, taken by researchers from the British Library and the Xinjiang Institute of Archaeology.

Despite China’s rapid growth over the last century, the arid and remote Taklamakan desert has protected many ancient sites along the Silk Road. Remains of farming settlements, Buddhist temples and Tibetan forts appear largely unchanged since Stein visited.

When: January 6 – February 9, 2014, 10am – 5pm

Ticket price: Free

Where: Royal Geographical Society, SW7 2AR

For more information, click here.