Desert Mazar in Context

Rahile Dawut, Xinjiang University, China
Sanjyot Mehendale, University of California, Berkeley, United States
Alexandre Papas, CNRS, Paris, France
In this desert are many evil demons and hot winds; when encountered, then all [travelers] die without exception. There are no flying birds above, no roaming beast below, but everywhere gazing as far as the eye can reach in search of the onward route, it would be impossible to know the way but for dead men’s decaying bones, which show the direction.
– Faxian, Chinese Buddhist pilgrim, fifth century CE


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