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15:14 Aug 22 2011

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Tibet preserves over 50,000 "pages" of palm-leaf manuscripts
15:13, August 22, 2011  

More than 50,000 "pages" of palm-leaf manuscripts have been preserved in southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region.

Since 2006, officials have completed the registration, sorting and photocopying of the ancient palm-leaf manuscripts written in Tibetan, Sanskrit and other ancient Indian languages, said Tsewang Jigme, director with the region's palm-leaf manuscripts protection office.

Among the found pages, some are precious and rare editions while some were written on paper, he added.

Palm-leaf manuscripts, which originated in India, refer to the Sanskirt classics, including Buddhist scriptures, ancient Indian literature and codes, inscribed on the leaves of palm trees.

Tibet is now among the regions in the world that have the most complete Sanskrit palm-leaf manuscripts registered, Tsewang said.

According to the contents and written style, it is believed that most palm-leaf manuscripts preserved in Tibet were from the eighth to fourteenth century, he said.

And the earlier ones could date back to before the seventh century and the most recent ones to the seventeenth century.

A large number of palm-leaf manuscripts in India have been damaged due to religious conflicts, war and humid weather, but those brought to Tibet were mostly in good condition.

Source: Xinhua


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