The year 1900 was a tumultuous year of the late Qing Dynasty because of domesƟc rebellions and foreign military acƟons. But in a small town called Dunhuang, in northwestern China, it was relaƟvely quiet as it was located in a remote area, long forgoƩen by Ɵme and people. The focus of Chinese civilizaƟon and the main ways of transportaƟon had shiŌed to the east coastline of China, although northwestern China had long been part of the Silk Road, the corridor of trade and cultural exchanges between China, West Asia and Europe. One day, Wang Yuanlu, a Daoist pracƟƟoner, was cleaning up a secƟon of the deserted and dilapidated ancient Buddhist site at Dunhuang when, suddenly, his aƩenƟon was drawn to a wall in which there seemed to be a hidden door. When he Įnally managed to open it what he saw was a liƩle disappoinƟng to him, since it was just a dusty room full of manuscripts that looked worn and torn – he had probably expected to see something more valuable. He reported his discovery to the authoriƟes but the government showed only lukewarm interest in such a seemingly trivial discovery. However, Wang’s discovery caught the aƩenƟon of Aurel Stein, a Hungarian-BriƟsh archaeologist, who went to Dunhuang in 1907 and bought many manuscripts from Wang.