26 Facts About Aurel Stein


Aurel Stein wrote several volumes on his expeditions and discoveries which include Ancient Khotan, Serindia and Innermost Asia.


At home the family spoke German and Hungarian, Aurel Stein attended Catholic and Lutheran gymnasiums in Budapest, where he mastered Greek, Latin, French, and English before going on for advanced study at Universities of Vienna, Leipzig and Tubingen.


Aurel Stein graduated in Sanskrit and Persian and received his PhD from Tubingen in 1883.


In 1886, Aurel Stein met the Indologist and philologist Rudolf Hoernle in Vienna at a conference of Orientalists, learning about an ancient mathematical manuscript discovered in Bakhshali.


In 1887 Aurel Stein went to India, where he joined the University of the Punjab as Registrar.


Aurel Stein was influenced by Sven Hedin's 1898 work Through Asia.


Aurel Stein recommended that Stein prepare an expedition proposal and submit it to the Governments of Punjab and India.


Aurel Stein sent a draft proposal to Hoernle within a month.


Aurel Stein then submitted a full proposal to explore, map and study the antiquities of Central Asia as per the recommendations of Hoernle, who personally petitioned both the Government of Punjab and Government of India, lobbying for a quick approval.


In January 1899, Aurel Stein received the formal approval and funds for his first expedition.


Aurel Stein thereafter received approval and support for additional expeditions to Chinese Turkestan, other parts of Tibet and Central Asia where the Russians and Germans were already taking interest.


Aurel Stein made his famous expeditions with the financial support of Punjab government and the British India government.


Aurel Stein brought to light the hidden treasure of a great civilization which by then was practically lost to the world.


Aurel Stein discovered manuscripts in the previously lost Tocharian languages of the Tarim Basin at Miran and other oasis towns, and recorded numerous archaeological sites especially in Iran and Balochistan.


Aurel Stein took 24 cases of manuscripts and 4 cases of paintings and relics.


Aurel Stein was knighted for his efforts, but Chinese nationalists dubbed him a burglar and staged protests against him, although others have seen his actions as at least advancing scholarship.


Aurel Stein's discovery inspired other French, Russian, Japanese, and Chinese treasure hunters and explorers who took their toll on the collection.


Aurel Stein discovered 5 letters written in Sogdian known as the "Ancient Letters" in an abandoned watchtower near Dunhuang in 1907, dating to the end of the Western Jin dynasty.


Aurel Stein was a lifelong bachelor, but was always accompanied by a dog named "Dash".


Aurel Stein died in Kabul on 26 October 1943 and is buried there in the Sherpur Cantonment.


Aurel Stein was awarded a number of other gold medals: the Gold Medal of the Societe de Geographie in 1923; the Grande Medaille d'or of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland in 1932; and the Gold Medal of the Society of Antiquaries of London in 1935.


Aurel Stein was made an honorary Doctor of Letters by the University of Oxford in 1909.


Aurel Stein was made an honorary Doctor of Science by the University of Cambridge in 1910.


Aurel Stein was made an honorary Doctor of Laws by the University of St Andrews in 1939.


In 1919, Aurel Stein became a foreign member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences.


Aurel Stein was elected an International Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1930 and an International Member of the American Philosophical Society in 1939.