le vendredi 11 mars 2011 à 17 heures
Amphi Rataud, ENS, 45 rue d'Ulm 75005 Paris
The dearth of primary historical sources on pre-Muslim India makes archaeological documentation an essential key to expanding our knowledge. Nevertheless, material evidence is often patchy and difficult to assemble in a systematic synthesis. In particular, vestige of Buddhist settlements and ritual praxis of early medieval period is seldom preserved in the archaeological record. Whilst in Afghanistan archaeological remains —though of unclear interpretation —witness to a still intense season of Buddhist art and architecture, a severe decrease of the Buddhist settlements seems to have occurred in Pakistan after the 5th century CE. This evidence apparently contradicts a firm literary tradition, which attests the persistent fame of Uḍḍiyāna (maybe to be intended as inclusive of an area broader than modern-day Swat, north-west Pakistan) as a cradle of teachings and teachers for Tibetan Buddhism and Bon. This contradiction represents an open question that the advancement of the studies in the last decades can now contribute to answer.
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