09:15 AM

eHeritage project: Digitization of Gandharan Artefacts (DiGA)

Lecture Series - Manuscriptology and Digital Humanities (Co-organized with Otani University Collection Buddhist Manuscript Research Project, Shin Buddhist Comprehensive Research Institute, Otani University, Kyoto)

Prof. Dr. Jessie Pons, Prof Dr. Frederik Elwert, Dr. Serena Autiero, Dr. Cristiano Moscatelli

Since 2021, the BMBF-funded eHeritage project Digitization of Gandharan Artefacts (DiGA) has been documenting a collection of ca. 1500 Buddhist sculptures preserved in the Dir Museum in Chakdara, Province of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. These have been excavated in a dozen of archaeological sites around present-day Chakdara by the Directorate of Archaeology and Museum, KP and the Department of Archaeology of the Peshawar University in the 1960s and 1970s. The DiGA team completed its final photographic campaign in May and has published an important portion of the collection on heidICON, the multimedia platform of the University Library Heidelberg. Being one of the few Gandharan sculptural corpus with archaeological provenance, this digital collection provides a solid ground for reassessing crucial questions in the field of Gandhara studies. These are related to research on Gandharan styles, Buddhist iconographies and the interplay between Buddhist literary and visual documents.

In this paper the DiGA team will present the features of the digital platform and delineate how this important art historical record can inform us on the history of Buddhist art in the region of Gandhara.

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