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Over 500 Bon religious scriptures reported discovered

July 15, 2010

Tibetan Review
July 14, 2010

A research group cataloging ancient Tibetan books
had recently discovered in a Tibetan-inhabited
area in Longnan, Gansu province, more than 500
handwritten Bon religious scriptures written in
the old Tibetan "language", reported China’s
online Tibet news service Jul 13,
citing Gansu Daily. The report called it "an
extremely rare and significant discovery."

The scriptures were reported to contain prayers
that monks said when performing religious
ceremonies and accounts of life and customs of
ancient Tibetans. They are said to be rare and
precious materials for studying the medieval
Tibetan language, religious beliefs, medicine, astronomy and calligraphy.

The report said that after a few books of the Bon
religion had been found in Dunhuang in the early
20th century, this was the first time so many
well-protected Bon religious scriptures were discovered in Gansu.

The report said the scriptures were written in
abbreviated old Tibetan "language." It said, "The
characters are as clear as (if) they were written
yesterday, the illustrations are still colorful
and the pages are elegant with classic simplicity."

The books are believed to have been written
between the 9th and 11th century, given the
"writing style, choices of words, paper materials and other aspects."
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