Birch Bark manuscripts
dbhattacharya200498 at YAHOO.COM
Wed Nov 23 23:16:04 EST 2011
There are quite a few examples of birch bark ms survival over + 1500 yrs.-- the Gilgit mss, bower mss etc. Thanks to them we know of the Sanskrit Vinaya and Asvaghoasha's Saariputra-.
The above is said without prejudice to the different claims about the Harappan script ms. What is unproved is that it can hail from such an antiquity.
We cannot forget the story of the Sukraniitisaara and of the more recent Vaastusuutropanishad. Whatever their dates, the tall claims about them seem unjustified.
From: alakendu das <mailmealakendudas at REDIFFMAIL.COM>
To: INDOLOGY at liverpool.ac.uk
Sent: Wednesday, 23 November 2011 8:31 PM
Subject: [INDOLOGY] Birch Bark manuscripts
To all my colleagues and schlors in Indology,
> I was just going through a mail by Dr.Jan E.M.Houben regarding birch
> bark manuscripts , trying to work out a similarity with Indus seals.
> The thought of Birch bark,immeadiately reminded me that ancient India
> boasts of the oldest manuscript in South Asia in Mathematics which was
> located at Bakshali, near Peshawar(once a part of British India).The
> period ranges between 1st cent C.E to 9th-12th C.E. A bunch of 70 birch
> leaves were excavated .It was accidentally discovered by a farmer while
> digging.The contents of the manuscipts ranged from Arithmetic including
> fractions,square roots, etc to Algebra including equations of various
> types. Another unique feature of Bakshali manuscript is the novel use of
> Decimal system where a dot has been used for zero.and negative numbers.
> It's widely acknowledged that India was the first country to introduce
> the concept of Decimal system. There were many other areas of
> mathematics where India were the poineer.
> It indeed makes me proud as an Indian.
> ALAKENDU DAS
> mailmealakendudas at rediffmail.com
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