Professor Mark Allon

Buddhism in Ancient Gandhara and Recent Manuscript Discoveries

Several major collections of Buddhist manuscripts from ancient Gandhara (present day northern Pakistan and eastern Afghanistan) have come to light over the past three decades. The oldest of these are the Gandhari manuscripts, which date from approximately the 1st century BCE to the 3rd century CE, making them the earliest Buddhist manuscripts yet found. After an historical survey of Buddhism in Gandhara, including local artistic innovations and the importance of the region in the spread of Buddhism to Central Asia and China, this lecture will highlight recent manuscript discoveries, the impact they are having on our understanding of Buddhism, and the new technologies that make collaboration and digital repatriation possible.