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0022 Serindia : vol.1
Serindia : vol.1 / Page 22 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000183
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  • xviii   INTRODUCTION

the forts of Miran and Mazar-tagh, by the Rev. Dr. A.. H. FRANCKE, late of the Moravian Mission, Leh.25 The valuable notes of a general kind which that very competent collaborator has published on these materials will be found reproduced for the main part in Appendix G. Very valuable help was rendered by Dr. L. D. BARNETT in furnishing me in Appendix K with exact translations of the Tibetan inscriptions found on certain of the Chien-fo-tung paintings.

The cataloguing of the thousands of Chinese manuscripts and documents brought away from the ` Thousand Buddhas ' and now deposited in the British Museum is steadily progressing at the expert hands of Dr. LIONEL, GILES, Professor P. PELLIOT, who originally undertook it, having been kept from this big task by military duties during the war and other obligations.28 • Apart from the publication of two interesting Chinese texts from this collection bearing on the history and topography of Tun-huang, Dr. Giles has allowed me to benefit freely by his Sinological help in matters with which Serindia deals.

On the Iranian side I owe to my friend Dr. A. E. COWLEY, now Bodley's Librarian, Oxford, a debt of gratitude for having first paved the way for the decipherment of that series of documents in a previously ` unknown ' script which the subsequent brilliant labours of the late M. R. GAUTI-IIOT have proved to contain the earliest extant remains of the Sogdian language.27 M. Gauthiot's lamented and untimely death in 1916, due to a wound received in serving his country, has retarded the further decipherment of these records, and has left the hope unfulfilled of seeing the Sogdian texts of later script and date which I recovered from the ` Thousand Buddhas ' published by the same highly-gifted scholar. Some of our later Sogdian texts had been previously examined and identified by Professor F. W. K. MÜLLER, the first decipherer of this language in manuscripts from Turfan.28

On the Turcological side, Professor V. THOMSEN, the famous decipherer of the Orkhon inscriptions, has done me the honour of editing and elucidating the documents, as well as the well-preserved complete text in Turkish ` Runic ' script, from the Miran Site and the walled-up chapel of Tun-huang.29 To Professor A. VON LECOQ, the distinguished Turcologist and Turkestan excavator, is due the critical edition of the Turkish Khuasluanifi text in Manichaean script which I discovered at the ` Thousand Buddhas '.30 Finally I must gratefully acknowledge here the help rendered by Dr. (now Sir) E. DENISON Ross, C.I.E., in making a preliminary examination and inventory of our Uigur Buddhist manuscripts from the same site.3t

From this long record of my philological collaborators I may now turn to those who did their best to further the tasks imposed by abundant art remains. The first in the field to help me was my old friend Monsieur A. FOUCHER. To his exceptional knowledge of Buddhist iconography I owe the correct interpretation of some of the most interesting of our mural paintings,32 and also very useful guidance as to the classification, etc., of the paintings from the ` Thousand Buddhas '.33 As regards the varied art aspects of these paintings I was fortunate enough to benefit by the very appreciative and enlightening interest taken in them by Mr. LAURENCE BINYON, a leading authority on the pictorial art of the Far East and now in charge of the Sub-Department of Oriental Prints and Drawings, British Museum. His expert care was of great help towards the successful preservation of the delicate silk paintings, found often in a very precarious condition, and also towards their faithful reproduction in the plates of the Thousand Buddhas.

It was Mr. Binyon's friendly intercession which enabled me to secure for this important part of

25 Cf. below, pp. 467 sqq., 1289.

R6 See below, pp. 916 sqq.

27 See below, chap. xvni. sec. iv, pp. 671 sqq.

29 For these Sogdian manuscripts from Chien-fo-tung,

see below, pp. 92o sqq.

29 See below, pp. 475 sqq.; 921 sq.

30 SeeJ.R.A.S., 1911, pp. 277-354; below, pp. 922. 61 Cf. below, pp. 923, 925.

32 See below, pp. 5o2, 525 sqq., 5252 sq.

" Cf. below, pp. 833, 836.

Cataloguing of Chinese MSS. from Ch`ien-fotung.

Collaboration on Sogdian MSS.

Help of Turcologists.

Collaboration on Buddhist paintings.