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This paper presents an edition of a newly identified Old Uyghur fragment of the Lotus Sūtra from the Krotkov collection in the Institute of Oriental Manuscripts of the Russian Academy of Sciences. The text mainly explains the merit of preaching, reciting and hearing the Lotus Sūtra through three parables, claiming that the text is from the nom čäčäki sudur ‘Law-Flower-Sūtra’, the Old Uyghur title of the Lotus Sūtra. However, there is no identical passage in the known Chinese translations of the Lotus Sūtra. Presumably, the Old Uyghur text is a unique composition by Uyghurs, though one cannot exclude the possibility that the Old Uyghur text might also be a translation of an unknown Chinese text of similar content.

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Ancient Turfan was an important crossroad of languages and scripts on the Northern Silk Road where various languages and scripts coexisted simultaneously. This point is strongly supported by the diversity of languages and scripts attested in the texts discovered in the region and the complex relation between languages and scripts as well as the language use. This paper first examines a colophon to the Chinese premier Qianziwen 千字文 kept in the Berlin Turfan Collection with the shelf number Ch 3716 (T II Y 62) which clearly followed the syntax of Old Uyghur, and then reconstructs the text with the assumption that the text was read in Old Uyghur. After briefly discussing some aspects of Old Uyghur’s use of the Qianziwen, this paper examines another Chinese colophon in the same manuscript. The main aim is to illustrate some aspects of Old Uyghur’s use of Chinese in medieval Turfan.

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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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The Old Uyghur fragment U 3901 (T.M. 96) kept in the Berlin Turfan collection recently published by Professor Peter Zieme is not from the translation of the Buddhāvataṃsaka-sūtra in eighty volumes, as he argues, but represents part of an invocation of bodhisattvas found in the Da fangguang fo huayan jing haiyin daochang shi zhong xingyuan chang bianli chanyi 大方廣佛華嚴經海印道場十重行願常徧禮懺儀, an important monument of late Tangut Buddhism. It is a new text which is not known yet in the Old Uyghur Buddhist literature. This paper presents an analysis of the text and its new edition.

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This paper presents results of a primary investigation of an Old Uyghur text written on a wooden plate discovered in the fourth layer of the cave NK 9 in the Tuyoq Grottoes in Turfan during the excavations carried out by a joint team of Chinese archaeologists between the autumn of 2010 and early summer of 2011. The text on Side A of the wooden plate is from the Old Uyghur translation of the Viśeṣa-cinti-brahma-paripṛcchā ‘Scripture of the inquiry of the Deity of Thinking’ and closely matches the Siyi fantian suowen jing 思益梵天所問經, translated into Chinese by Kumārajīva. The text on Side B of the wooden plate is also of Buddhist content and seems to be by the same scribe. Presumably, it is also from the Old Uyghur translation of the Viśeṣa-cinti-brahma-paripṛcchā, but it still needs a definite identification.

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Among the discoveries of excavations carried out by a joint team of Chinese archaeologists between the autumn of 2010 and the early summer of 2011 in the Tuyoq Grottoes in Turfan, 22 pilgrim inscriptions in Old Uyghur script were found in the Northern Cave 10 (NK 10). All of them are notes made by Buddhists who made a pilgrimage to the cave. Although the photo of these inscriptions has been published twice in recent years, an edition of them is still missing. This paper presents results of philological investigation on 20 of these pilgrim inscriptions. One inscription is briefly discussed in the general description as its structure is difficult to recognise, whereas an edition of another inscription, the one on the upper side of the left wall, is reserved for further research, as the inscription is not clearly visible in the available photo.

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Acta Orientalia Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae
Authors:
Feng Jing
,
Peter Kornicki
,
Anikó Schmidt
,
Gyula Wojtilla
, and
Abdurishid Yakup
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