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L

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RE: Tibetan Archaeology
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In August and September of 1998 I discovered a series of pre-Buddhist archaeological sites in the western Tibet province of Ngari (mNga ris). Located in close proximity to what had been important prehistoric sources of fresh water, these ancient sites include burial mounds, villages and ceremonial structures. Situated at 4500 meters in the Changthang (Byang thang), the vast northern plains of Tibet, these finds significantly add to our knowledge of Tibet before the spread of Buddhism in the 7th to 11th centuries.
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L

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The ruins of Guge are in what is today Zhada County, Ngari Prefecture, Tibet. Guge is said to be the highest of ancient kingdoms located on the ridge of the Roof of the World, as Tibet is called. Marching westwards to Guge from the Tibetan capital of Lhasa is a long and hard journey that crosses a vast uninhabited desert.
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L

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Nepalese Archaeology
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A three-member Nepalese government team had left for Lhasa, Tibets capital, on Sunday to bring back the idols and a stupa stolen from an ancient monastery in Nepal two years ago, according to media reports from Nepal.
Twenty-seven statues of the Buddha and a small shrine were reported stolen from the Yetser Jangchubling monastery in Nepal's remote Dolpa district in 2005. The artifacts were taken to Tibet where they were later recovered.

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L

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Nepali Archaeology
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Stone sculptures reflecting 'impressive art works' having immense historical significance are lying in abundance in the farmland of Bistol, a small village located seven kilometres west from the town of Butwal.
The local farmers have used the sculptures having carved images of various Hindu and Buddhist deities to decorate their huts, pave the buffalo sheds, control water in the paddy fields and as wash stones in their taps.
According to the locals, the farmers have used the artefacts even to bury the big pits and wells of their farmlands.

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L

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Buddhist monasteries
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The descendant of a once powerful Tibetan kingdom is leading a drive in remote northern Nepal to renovate centuries-old Buddhist monasteries that are treasure troves of sacred manuscripts, paintings and architectural marvels.
Though the world discovered anew the once forbidden ancient Tibetan kingdom of Mustang with the recent finding of ancient caves full of exquisite murals that could be 3,000 years old, for two decades experts have been working in the mountainous region to restore monasteries that are over 600 years old.
The credit for the effort goes to 75-year-old Jigme Bista, the former king of Mustang.

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L

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Tibetan Archaeology
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A shepherd in a remote region of Nepal near the border with Tibet has been instrumental in the discovery of an extraordinary art treasure that lay hidden from the world for centuries - a collection of 55 exquisite cave paintings depicting the life of Buddha.
A partially collapsed cave containing the 12th to 14th century depictions of scenes from Buddha's life was unearthed last month by a team of Italian, US and Nepalese conservators and archaeologists in Mustang, a lost kingdom long forbidden to foreigners in the high Himalayas, 250-km north-west of Kathmandu.

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L

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Buddhist art
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Paintings of Buddha dating back at least to the 12th century have been discovered in a cave in a remote area of Nepal's north-central region.
Researchers made the find after being tipped off by a local sheep herder. They discovered a mural with 55 panels showing the story of Buddha's life.
The mural was uncovered in March, with the team using ice axes to break through a snow path to reach the cave.
The find was in the Mustang area, 250km  north-west of Kathmandu.

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L

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Mustang district
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A priceless treasure trove of Buddhist teachings, manuscripts, paintings and other historical artefacts lie under grave threat, ironically from the advent of development in remote northern Nepal.
Nepal's frontier Mustang district - once part of an ancient Tibetan kingdom - has been safeguarding thousands of caves, some of which are nearly 3,000 years old, full of paintings and manuscripts in ancient Tibetan scripts.
Archaeologist Sukra Sagar Shrestha, who specialises in high-altitude archaeology and has been associated with excavation and restoration projects in Mustang, estimates there are over 10,000 such caves, most of them undiscovered.
Some of the caves are multi-storeyed, with different layers used for residence, imparting religious education to monks and nuns, and burial sites. Written in at least four different Tibetan scripts, the manuscripts, once deciphered, are likely to provide a wealth of historical data about the ancient Tibetan kingdom, its relations with China, Nepal and India, and perhaps even about the Buddha himself.
Between 15th and 17th centuries, Mustang - a corruption of Lo Manthang, meaning the 'southern plains of aspiration' - was an independent, rich and powerful kingdom whose rulers dominated the trans-Himalayan trade between Tibet and India.

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L

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Nepal Ancient history
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Neolithic tools found in the Kathmandu Valley indicate that people have been living in the Himalayan region for at least 9,000 years. Documented references reach back to the first millennium BCE, when ancient Indian epics such as the Mahabharata mention the Kiratas, the inhabitants of Nepal. It appears that people who were probably of Tibeto-Burman ethnicity lived in Nepal 2,500 years ago. Ramayana, which refers to the era before Mahabharat, states Mithila, which is currently known as Janakpur in Nepal, as the birth place of goddess Sita. Also, the presence of historical sites, e.g., Valmik ashram, indicates the presence of Aryan culture in Nepal at that period.

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-- Edited by Blobrana at 15:42, 2007-04-06

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L

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Tibetan Forest
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Researchers have revealed that the barren landscape of Tibet as is in evidence recently, was covered by thick cypress forests some 4600 years ago.
According to the research carried out by Georg Miehe of the University of Marburg in Germany, the forest was destroyed by the local inhabitants to make way for barley cultivation and grazing animals.
The researchers after having analysed climate data, pollen records and ancient soil samples from in and around Lhasa, drew the inference that the climate in the region was most suitable for the growth of the forest.

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