The inscription that forms the subject of this study ranks among the oldest extant literary documents from Spiti (Himachal Pradesh). It was already brought to the attention of the scholarly community by Hi. Shuttle worth in 1929, but despite several attempts to edit and translate the fragmentary epigraph it has hitherto remained unpublished. The present study provides the first edition and a richly annotated translation, thus establishing a basis for further research on this intricate document. In trying to unravel its contents, the author could rely on his detailed digital documentation of the inscription as well as on earlier transcriptions that were prepared in situ. The oldest of these were found among A.H. Francke’s unpublished works and are reproduced in transliteration and as facsimile images in the appendix to this volume.
Kurt Tropper, Ph.D. (2001) in Tibetan and Buddhist Studies, University of Vienna, is Postdoctoral Research Fellow and Lecturer for Classical Tibetan at the University of Vienna His publications include Die Jataka-Inscbriften im skor lam chen mo des Klosters Zha lu (WSTB 63, 2005) and The Historical Inscription in the Gsum brtsegs Temple at Wanla, Ladakh (Proceedings of the Tenth Seminar of the IATS, Vol.7, 2Q07).
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