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<b>Creator's Description:</b> This article presents a new paleographic approach to the Tibetan manuscripts from Dunhuang. By adapting the techniques of forensic handwriting analysis to the Tibetan alphabet, we can identify groups of manuscripts written in the same hand. After introducing this new approach, the present paper applies it to the works of a single scribe, taken as an initial example. Once this particular group of manuscripts has been identified, a range of further insights into this person emerge—his many connections to the kingdom of Khotan, his unique writing style, and his interest in the external ritual practices relating to water and fire offerings, stūpas, rosaries, and the like. This new approach promises to alter significantly our understanding of the Tibetan Dunhuang documents. No longer are we confronted with a mass of undigested material; now we can begin to date and ascribe names to whole swathes of the collection.
<p>Since their discovery a century ago, the Dunhuang manuscripts have revolutionized the study of Asian religions. Until recently, however, the rich materials relating to esoteric tantric Buddhism have been largely ignored. This volume provides an indispensable doorway into these materials. An introduction summarizes the discovery, worldwide dissemination and general character of these Tibetan treasures. The catalogue entries provide introductory discussions of the manuscripts' contents, in addition to reordering the often scrambled folios, linking them to their long-lost counterparts in other collections, and matching them with corresponding texts in the Tibetan canon. The catalogue includes indices to Tibetan and Sanskrit titles, names and terms, as well as all Pelliot manuscripts referenced. The result is an invaluable resource for scholars of Buddhism.</p>