8 rock carv­ings from the Tubo pe­riod found in Ti­bet

China Daily (Canada) - - TIBET - By PALDEN NYIMA in Lhasa

Eight rock carv­ings found in the Ti­bet au­ton­o­mous re­gion’s Markham county have been con­firmed as dat­ing to the Ti­betan Tubo King­dom more than 1,000 years ago, ac­cord­ing to the county’s cul­tural relics bureau.

A sur­vey of the ar­chae­o­log­i­cal finds be­gan in the sec­ond half of last year and was car­ried out by four ex­perts from Sichuan Univer­sity’s Ti­betol­ogy In­sti­tute while work­ing along­side rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the county’s cul­tural relics and tourism bu­reaus.

“More than 20 peo­ple took part in the sur­vey, as the carv­ings are dis­trib­uted across eight sites in the county’s three town­ships,” said He Fan­hua, from the cul­tural relics bureau.

“Our bureau will now pro­pose to higher cul­tural relics units that mea­sures be taken to pro­tect the pet­ro­glyphs.”

He said preser­va­tion was es­sen­tial be­cause some of the pet­ro­glyphs are lo­cated less than 600 me­ters from the near­est vil­lages.

Many stone carv­ings have been uncovered in Markham county over the years, in­clud­ing a gi­ant statue of the Vairochana Bud­dha found in 2011 — one of the three big­gest in the whole of Ti­bet.

Zhang Yan­qing, or Palchen Dor­jee, a pro­fes­sor at Sichuan Univer­sity’s Ti­betol­ogy In­sti­tute, said the pet­ro­glyphs dated to ei­ther the reign of Ti­betan King Trisong Det­san (AD 755-797) or Tride Songt­san (AD 798-815).

“They in­clude cliff­side carv­ings, cir­cu­lar en­graved stat­ues, an­cient Ti­betan texts, and Mani stones,” he said.

The carv­ings re­flect the long his­tory of cul­tural ex­change in the re­gion and are in­flu­enced by a num­ber of styles rang­ing from In­dian to Chi­nese, ac­cord­ing to Zhang.

“As both Bud­dhist art and a his­tor­i­cal find, th­ese carv­ings are of great value and should be pro­tected,” he added.

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