Featured image: P3861, item 9; folios 62–63. Sanskrit prayer tranliterated in Tibetan script with interlinear Chinese notations and additions. Courtesy of the Bibliothèque nationale de France.
Over the past decade, I have spent a lot of time thinking about the Buddhist communities that flourished in the region of the Dunhuang Buddhist cave site in present-day Gansu province, China. Situated along the old Silk Road (fig. 1), Dunhuang served as a military garrison, way station, and pilgrimage site for well over a thousand years in what was then—and to a certain extent remains—a nexus of a wider regional “crossroads” populated by significant Chinese, Uyghur, and Tibetan communities. Many of these were Buddhist communities that left their traces in the books, buildings, and byways that for centuries lay buried beneath the desert sands.[Read more…] about A Multilingual Manuscript from Dunhuang: P3861