The Brahmi inscription at Dhando Chaitya.

John Huntington huntington.2 at OSU.EDU
Thu Jan 23 16:46:42 UTC 2003

Dear Indology Members:

Having just returned from Kathmandu where I was able to visit the
Dhando chaitya and Chabahi restorations several times, I can perhaps
shed some more light on the matter. First of all the brick is an
approximately 12th century brick with a Bhujimo lipi inscription also
on the the same surface as the as the Brahmi inscription. It was
excavated under controlled conditions under the direct oversight a
well established excavator from the Department of Archaeology, Prasad
xx (I am writing this without my notes).  My friend and colleague,
the epigraphist, Kashinath Tamot, was called immediately and both he
and I have examined the brick under all kinds of light and had a
magnification of the inscription electronically up to about 10x.  The
inscriptions are eactly what they should be for the period, carved
(some may prefer "heavily scratched") into the surface of the fired
brick with a great deal of attention to the drawing of the Brahmi
characters and much less to the Bhujimo. The Bhujimo inscription
provides a confirmation of the date suggested by the measurements.
The care with which the Brahmi inscription was carved, leads one to
think that whoever did it was making sure to get it right.

There are two important points, here.

One, it is from a controlled excavation with virtually no chance of faking.

  Two, the brick is not a Mauryan brick with a Brahmi inscription, but
a twelfth century copy of a Brahmi inscription.

I hasten to add that I know of no other example of such a "copied
ancient inscription," However, Newar Buddhist archaeology is in its
infancy and, since most of the ancient sites are still in active
worship, it is probable that the state of knowledge about Newar
conventions of re-structuring monuments will be a very long time
being developed.

There has been a plethora of material come out of the stupa, sacchas,
coins and the like.

After the publication of the excavation, we will be putting it on our
website. and Kashinath may be putting it up on his soon.

If you would like a photograph of the inscription, please request
permission to receive it from Kashinath,  at his son's address,
Yalamber Tamot <ytamot at>, and Kashinath or Yalambar
will inform me directly that you have received permission to receive



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