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Dead Sea Scrolls of Buddhism Found in Afghanistan

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  Quote Afghanan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Dead Sea Scrolls of Buddhism Found in Afghanistan
    Posted: 14-Mar-2006 at 23:41

Buddhist scrolls may be missing link

Rare manuscripts dubbed the "dead sea scrolls of Buddhism" have been carbon dated to the first and fifth centuries AD by Australian scientists, and could be the missing link in Buddhist history, a local scholar says.

Mark Allon, a University of Sydney research fellow, commissioned the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANTSO) to carry out tests on two international collections of birch bark scrolls.

The scrolls, written in an ancient language derived from Sanskrit and known as the Senior collection and the Schoyen collection, are privately owned.

They were discovered in Afghanistan during the war-torn country's post-Soviet upheaval, making their way into the antiquities market in the period of Taliban rule.

The results of ANSTO's carbon testing showed that two manuscripts from the Senior collection date between the years 130 and 250 AD, and three of the Schoyen texts date between the first and fifth century AD.

Dr Allon, who is translating the texts, said the date confirmation was a step towards filling the historical void that existed before the scrolls' discovery.

"Buddhism was originally an oral tradition, but little is known about how it developed from spoken word to written word, so the discovery and date confirmation will give us a unique insight into the development of Buddhist literature," Dr Allon said.

"In addition, although Buddhism flourished throughout Asia and there is an enormous amount of literature available, it totally disappeared from India, central Asia and the Indonesian archipelago, and with it many literary traditions.

"The new manuscripts are therefore the missing link in the historical chain."

He said dating the Senior collection had been particularly important in correcting some chronological errors in Indian history.

 

http://www.theage.com.au/news/National/Buddhist-scrolls-may- be-missing-link/2006/03/09/1141701602409.html

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Paul View Drop Down
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  Quote Paul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Mar-2006 at 05:21
I wonder if they really are the Dead Sea Scrolls of Buddhism and will disprove the religion? Or just prove to be an early history of it.
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  Quote Gyadu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-Mar-2006 at 22:25

Originally posted by Paul

I wonder if they really are the Dead Sea Scrolls of Buddhism and will disprove the religion? Or just prove to be an early history of it.

I agree.It's great that they've been found.Now lets try to read whats written on those scrolls.Any updates?

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  Quote YusakuJon3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Mar-2006 at 20:31
I, for one, am interested in seeing if the scrolls shed some light on the history of central Asia at the time, giving hints about the affairs of the Graeco-Bactrian and Kushan dynasties which set the stage of Buddhism's emergence from India into the wider Asian world.  It would be something if these texts also reveal something of how its authors viewed such historic figures as Alexander IV of Macedon, King Cyrus of Persia and even Buddha himself.  Since nothing really has been revealed about what's been translated so far (is it written in a native script or does it employ Hellenistic Greek?), we can only guess whether it serves a religious or a historical purpose.
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  Quote Afghanan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Apr-2006 at 07:20

My guess is its written in Kharoshti script.

 

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