Corpora in Greater Gandhāra: Tracing the Development of Buddhist Textuality and Gilgit/Bamiyan Manuscript Networks in the First Millennium of the Common Era

Start - End 
2024 - 2029 (ongoing)
Department of Languages and Cultures
Research Region 
Research Language 



In the last several years, fantastic manuscript finds have surfaced opening new windows into the scholarly study of the development of Buddhist literature. Gandhara Corpora represents a multifaceted, holistic approach to the study of an important and voluminous genre of manuscript witnesses from an early era of Buddhist textual transmission composed mainly in Sanskrit in the Gilgit/Bamiyan type scripts from the historic region of Greater Gandhara covering modern day Afghanistan, Pakistan, and parts of Northern India. This project centers on the study of large, recently discovered caches of highly significant early Buddhist manuscripts and their place in the body of works from Greater Gandhara. The philological, paleographical, codicological, and critical research conducted in this project will examine textual and material production, transmission, and relationship networks in the Buddhist manuscript cultures of Greater Gandhara and beyond in the first millennium of the Common Era.





Lewis Doney

Universität Bonn

Nicholas Sims-Williams


Stefan Baums

Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München

Kazunobu Matsuda

Bukkyo University