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Abdurishid Yakup Academy for Research on Chinese Ethnic Minority Languages of Minzu University of China, P. R. China; Berlin Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities, Turfanforschung, Germany

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Amongst the finds of the Chinese archaeologists at the centre portion of the West Zone of the Tuyoq Grottoes in the Turfan region of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, People’s Republic of China, there are three wooden plates with Old Uyghur writing, which I identify as nameplates. They have some similarities to the nameplates preserved in the Berlin Turfan collection of the Museum für Asiatische Kunst. However, the two nameplates from Tuyoq also show clear divergences from the known wooden nameplates in the Berlin Turfan collection of the Museum für Asiatische Kunst in regards to their form and content. They are unique, and it is the first time such wooden nameplates were discovered in the Tuyoq Grottoes. This article begins with a short survey of research of recent Old Uyghur materials discovered in the Tuyoq Grottoes. Then, it presents a philological investigation of the three wooden nameplates which is followed by a classification of the wooden objects with Old Uyghur writing. At the end, the article discusses the function of wooden objects with Old Uyghur writing in the Old Uyghur society, focusing on the function of the wooden nameplates.

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