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Now, starting 2nd thread in the series of "#Sanskrit and #SilkRoute".

• Topic - Discovery of Sanskrit on Silk Route.

Refer the map of #SilkRoute again. Do you see Takla Makan desert, North to Tibet ?

City of Kashgar at this desert separates the route in two parts - North & South.

See that Kucha town in the North route. Next tweets are related to Kucha. So, remember it.
It was 1890 CE. India was under the British rule.

Hamilton Bower is a British army officer. He is sent to Kucha (China) on a secret mission in search of a murderer.

He goes to Kucha and takes help of a local person to guide him. Local guide takes him to an old place.
Interestingly Mr. Bower finds a book there. In fact, a #Manuscript written on a birch bark, in #Brahmi script. The language of this MS was #Sanskrit.

This MS is known as "Bower Manuscript" in honour of Mr. Hamilton Bower.
This Bower MS is the very first #Sanskrit #Manuscript discovered on ancient #SilkRoute

Mr. Bower gives this MS to Asiatic Society of Bengal and then the first decipherment of this MS gets published in Apr - 1891.

This discovery pushes explorers to discover more in future.
Bower MS is dated to early Gupt era (4th c. CE). It records Medical treatise. This MS proved early connection between India and China. Also Buddhism gets limelight after this discovery.

Prof. G. Buhler, a German Indologist, was instrumental in post discovery of this MS.
Once the news and subsequent decipherment of this Bower MS is out in 1891, Russian Archaeological Society gets activated.

Russia sends Mr. Petrovsky to Kashgar (Refer the map in 2nd tweet) in 1892 where he collects few more MS.

Russian Archaeology Society publishes report.
French explorers were also not behind in the quest. MS on धम्मपद in गांधारी #Prakrit script was acquired by them near Khotan in 1892.

This Manuscript is dated to 1st or 2nd c. CE ... One of the earliest dated MS on Silk Route.
After 1892, adventures, archaeologists, explorers began digging the desert and places of ancient #SilkRoute.

Cave temples, monasteries and lost spots were discovered.

Thus, #Sanskrit becomes the link between the lost connection of India and China.

// End.
One correction in tweet 8 -
Gandhari Prakrit is a language, not script. Mistake from my end in a haste. Thnx to @Chandrapida1 for pointing out.
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