Archaeologicalexplorer. Stein was born in Budapest. After he attended university, he received a government stipend to study coins as an aid to chronology and trade. His first post was in the Punjab, where he focused on Sanskrit and prepared for his first expedition (1900–1901), which took him to the ancient oasis town of Khotan in Chinese Turkistan. The early splendor of Khotan had vanished; Stein discovered that the ancient town lay below twenty feet of silt. He then entered the world's most formidable desert, the Taklimakan, and excavated first at Dandan-Uiliq, where skeletons of houses yielded Sanskrit texts of Buddhist scriptures. The site was abandoned before 700 c.e. because a nearby river had failed. At the earlier site of Niya he excavated wooden and sheepskin tablets inscribed in Kharosthi.
From The Oxford Companion to World Exploration in Oxford Reference.
Subjects: World History.