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from ScienceDaily

Indian Buddhism: Birch-bark treasures

2000-year-old texts of Ghandara. The oldest surviving Buddhist texts, preserved on long rolls of birch-tree bark, written in long extinct Gandhari are from Northwestern Pakistan. They provide insights into a literary tradition thought to have been irretrievably lost, and help researchers to reconstruct crucial phases in the development of Buddhism in India and confirm the vital role played by the Gandhara region in the spread of Buddhism into Central Asia and China.

Cosmological Scroll, Rubin Museum: Geographic Origin Tibet Medium Pigments on cloth. This eight-panel, double-sided scroll presents diagrams exploring various aspects of the cosmos as described in the Buddhist text called the Wheel of Time (Kalachakra) Tantra. This tantra emphasizes the correlations between the outward appearances of the universe and the human body.


Bardo Thodol. a schematic describing the transitional stage in the afterlife, the Bardo Thodol, described in Tibetan Buddhist texts as a passing through various colored types of lights until one finally reaches rebirth into another life.


The world's oldest book is a Buddhist text called the Diamond Sutra, printed in 868 A.D. This copy of the Diamond Sutra had been hidden for a millennia in a sacred cave, discovered by a Chinese monk in 1900 in one of the Caves of Thousand Buddhas in western China.


14th C. Chinese Buddhist monk Xuanzang 602-664 (Tang dynasty), travelled for17 years in India seeking original buddhist texts. Tokyo National Museum.


The Appearance of Blemmyae Some Meroites may have played an important role in Buddhism because Blemmyae, a prominent group in the Meroitic Sudan are mentioned in Pali text Tipitaka. Dr. Derrett wrote that in the early Pali text “we have a Blemmya (an African) in front rank Buddhist texts of very respectable age. The Buddhist text where Blemmya were mentioned are very old. The Vinaya Pitaka , is dated to the fourth century BCE.

from Washington Post

‘Buddha’ goes to the hospital: A convergence of art, history and science

A 17th C. Korean bodhisattva where buddhist texts inserted in the head and the belly were recently discovered. Carved from a single piece of wood, except for the ears, hand and base which are attached with hand-made iron nails.