Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.499062
Title: The Buddhist scultpure of yanqi (Karashahr) : Context, analysis and dating
Author: Rubin, Khau Ming
Awarding Body: School of Oriental and African Studies (University of London)
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 2007
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Abstract:
This thesis is about a category of Buddhist sculpture from Ming-oi (ground temples) and Shorchuk (cave temples), two ancient Buddhist enclaves located along the Northern Silk Route within Yanqi (Karashahr) in present-day Xinjiang. The Yanqi works were removed from their original temple sites, and are now mostly scattered outside of China in various museum holdings around the world. Consequently, Ming-oi and Shorchuk are today forlorn archaeological sites that have received scant attention from contemporary scholars. The disconnected Buddhist sculpture also remains relatively obscure and is left with a long-standing problem of not having an established dating. Although the sculpture has k;generally been assigned to the Tang period, this thesis seeks to establish that it belongs to a much earlier context and may have served as the prototypical models for early Chinese Buddhist art. That the Buddhist art of ancient Xinjiang represents the stylistic inspiration for early Chinese Buddhist sculpture is not a new notion. Scholars in the past have recognised the possible influence on China of pre-existing Buddhist art from the Tarim Basin. In doing so, they were faced with a dating problem, as this would have required the Yanqi works to have been much older than the Tang period dating that had theretofore been assigned to them. Nevertheless, the fragmentary and non-mainstream Yanqi works of clay manufacture have attracted no attempt to solve a seemingly obvious chronological puzzle since they were unearthed almost a hundred years ago. The solution to the puzzle is long overdue. It is the principal raison d' etre for this thesis. Through an extended review of Yanqi's general and Buddhist history, based on textual evidence, in conjunction with stylistic analysis of the relevant architectural and sculptural evidence, this thesis concludes that the 4th - 5th century AD is the more logical art historical context for the Yanqi Buddhist sculpture
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.499062  DOI: Not available
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