Monday, 20 November 2017

Beyond Scrolls and Codices: Manuscript Formats on the EasternSilk Road

Recording of one of the Mellon Sawyer lectures on Friday December 2, 2016

by Susan Whitfield
Director, International Dunhuang Project, British Library (IDP)

“Beyond Scrolls and Codices: Manuscript Formats on the Eastern Silk Road”

Manuscripts in the tens of thousand have been excavated from first millennium AD sites of the eastern Silk Road. On various local media — birchbark, wood, palm leaf, silk, paper and others — and in over twenty languages and scripts, they reflect the diversity of the cultures in this period and place. This paper introduces the range of manuscript formats, materials, languages and scripts, and discuss their diffusion along the Silk Road. It also considers the lack of diffusion of some unique formats used in specific contexts and only found for relatively brief periods.

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