question about dates of manuscripts

Dominik Wujastyk ucgadkw at
Tue Jul 15 08:35:54 UTC 1997

On Tue, 15 Jul 1997, Vidyasankar Sundaresan wrote:

> has any Indian manuscript ever been analyzed by radiocarbon dating? Or are
> they typically too precious to be subjected to such an experiment? 

Not to my knowledge.  But not because they are too precious, but because
they are too young.  No known Sanskrit manuscript dates from before the
Christian era, and one can usually tell the date of a MS to within a
couple of hundred years or so by examining its external appearence and
script (eh, Richard?).  This is much closer than one could get with
radiocarbon dating. 

All the best,

Dominik Wujastyk               Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine
email: d.wujastyk at          183 Euston Road, London NW1 2BE, England
<URL:>                    FAX: 44 171 611 8545

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