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Oldest Buddhist Stele Discovered in Tibet

Posted on Jan, 19, 2018
Contributed to WCHV by Anahit
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A ninth-century Purang stele – the official term for an upright stone slab with engravings – is believed to be the oldest in the Tibet Autonomous Region, according the archaeologists in the region.

Shargan Wangdue, of the Tibet Cultural Relics Protection Institute, said the stele was discovered in Ngari Prefecture in northern part of Tibet.

The stele, 1.85 meters tall, is inscribed with the image of a standing Buddha.

On its left side are 24 lines of old Tibetan language. On its right side are 19 lines of buddhist prayers.

Most scholars agree that the stele was set up in 826 or 838, during the period of Tubo kingdom.

“This stele shows Buddhism was already being practiced during the Tubo period in western part of Ngari,” Shargan Wangdue asserted.

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