Textual and visual odds and ends from India, Tibet, and around.
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Labels: Bsam yas, epigraphy, imperial period, tibetan studies
posted by PDSz | 8:42 pm
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Wow, those letters just leap right out at you. I almost think it's a good thing for those of us interested in Tibetan paleography, but I suspect it's a bit of a disaster.Anyway, it's clear that these millennium-old monuments of incalculable historical value just need a lick of paint every now and then to keep them tip-top!
do you know of any record that would state how these things looked like originally? I'm thinking traces of paint in the ductus or something similar.
No, but it'a good thought. If someone were to do a chemical analysis of inner part of the letters in one of the inscriptions that hasn't been given a paint-job (as far as I know it's only Samye that regularly gets this treatment - or are there others?) that might clarify things. The others don't look like they have any visible traces of ancient pigments.S.
You may recall reading (on some other blog) that the technology now exists to detect the original chisel impressions in stone, sometimes when the original shape is no longer discernible. If you plaster a stone inscription with paint, that option goes right out the window.
the 'peace treaty' inscription outside the Jokhang has a deep black, shiny appearance (butter? oil?). I don't know exactly how or why they did it, especially that it seems to be sealed off. but there is considerable damage to the text, and as far as I could tell the same goes for the Zhol inscription, now in the middle of a huge square but also off limits.
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