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Vorobyova-Desyatovskaya M. A Sanskrit Manuscript on Birch-Bark from Bairam-Ali: I. The Vinaya of the Sarvāstivādins // Manuscripta Orientalia. Vol. 5, No 2, June 1999. P. 27-36.


The manuscript under discussion here has been known since 1966, when the first report appeared about a unique find in the Merv oasis, not far from the city of Bairam-Ali. It was indeed a lucky find: while levelling a field by a bulldozer, a small hill was removed and among the lumps of earth a shattered clay pitcher was discovered. Scattered on the earth were old coins, a statuette, and a sheaf of birch-bark folios, stuck together and covered with unintelligible signs. The discovery was delivered to the Institute of History of the Turkmen SSR. Later, archaeologist Ganialin brought the treasures to Leningrad where the head of the Eastern Section of the State Hermitage, Prof. V. G. Lukonin (1932—1984), determined that the pitcher contained Sasanian bronze coins with the date: “eighteenth year of the rule of Khosrow”. This date corresponds to A.D. 549. The clay statuette was damaged, but specialists at the State Hermitage attributed it as a depiction of the Buddha Sâkyamuni. The gummed-together folios of birch-bark were handed over to the Leningrad (St. Petersburg) Branch of the Institute of Oriental Studies, where restorer G. S. Makarikhina laboured for an entire year to split it into separate layers…

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Keywords


Bairam-Ali
Manuscripta Orientalia, selected papers
Sanskrit Manuscripts
the Sarvāstivādins
Vinaya

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