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Dash the dog joins 1,000s of treasures
from Chinese 'Silk Road' on the web

A major project to put thousands of Chinese treasures (now in the British Library and the British Museum) on the web - reuniting them with collections still in China - comes to fruition today. (Included on this website is a special feature on explorer Aurel Stein's canine companions - seven dogs all named 'Dash'

See especially the pictures, commentary and press cuttings on Dash II or 'Dash the Great')
The majority of these items were discovered in a hidden cave in around 1900. Some of the world's top archaeologists headed for the site leading to many manuscripts, paintings and artefacts being distributed amongstmuseums around the globe.

The items themselves provide a fascinating insight into daily life in ancient China (5th to 11th century). The website also allows researchers to retrace the steps of the British archaeologist Sir Aurel Stein, one of the first to travel to the region. Using interactive maps, researchers can look at hundreds of Sir Aurel's photographs of the ancient sites, the scenery and local peoples.

Over 50,000 manuscripts, paintings, textiles and artefacts from ancient caves and temples along the Silk Road are to be reunited, in digital form, on a unique integrated Chinese/English website launched today.

The website is the result of a successful collaboration between the British Library and the National Library of China. Produced as part of the International Dunhuang Project (IDP), the website will enable researchers, travellers and anyone interested in life along the Silk Road to search an unrivalled treasure-trove of information on items now held in museums and libraries around the world. The website is accessible via a single interface in Chinese and English (available free at and