Dunyotepa potsherd

Stefan Baums baums at BERKELEY.EDU
Sun Apr 10 22:45:12 UTC 2011

Dear Indologists,

as I am working to complete the coverage of potsherd inscriptions
in the Catalog of Gāndhārī Texts:


I have run up against one hard‐to‐obtain item. This is a potsherd
discovered in 1936 at Dunyotepa near Termez by M. E. Masson. It
contains an inscription interpreted as Kharoṣṭhī (though doubts on
this point have recently been raised by Viktoriia Vertogradova),
which would make it the earliest discovery of Indian writing in
Middle Asia (Средняя Азия) / northern Bactria. I have the
following brief discussions of this item:

   М. И. Воробьева‐Десятовская, 1976. “Надписи письмом кхароштхи
   на золотых предметах из Дальверзин‐тепе.” Вестник древней
   истории 135: 72–79. (p. 72)

   В. В. Вертоградова. 1998. “Находки индоязычных буддийских
   письменных памятников в Средней Азии.” In: В. Я. Ставиский,
   ed., Судьбы буддизма в Средней Азии: по данным археологии.
   Культура народов Востока: материалы и исследования, pp.
   199–205. Москва: Издательская фирма «Восточная литература» РАН.
   (p. 199 and p. 204 n. 1)

but have so far not been able to procure the original publication
and illustration of the potsherd by Masson in:

   М. Е. Массон. 1941. Городища Старого Термеза и их изучение.
   Труды Уз. ФАН, сер. 1, вып. 2, Термезская археологическая
   комплексная экспедиция 1938 г. Ташкент 1941.

   M. E. Masson. 1941. Gorodishcha Starogo Termeza i ikh
   izuchenie. Trudy Uz. FAN, ser. 1, vyp. 2, Termezskaia
   arkheologicheskaia kompleksnaia ekspeditsiia 1938 g. Tashkent

The publication series in question appears to be the Proceedings
of the Tashkent Branch of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR, and
according to WorldCat parts of this are available in Munich, at
Harvard and in Illinois:


but when I tried Interlibrary loan, my request was returned with
the note that “the two [US?] libraries which own the title do not
have the volume needed.”

Therefore now my request to any kind soul out there who may have
easier access to this publication, maybe in Eastern European or
Russian libraries where I imagine it is not all that rare (just
not aggregated in WorldCat), to please contact me.

All best wishes,

Dr. Stefan Baums
Group in Buddhist Studies
University of California, Berkeley

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