China and Inner Asia
Organized Panel Session
It was from Gandhara that Buddhism, at the beginning of the Common Era, started its global progress across Central Asia to the Far East and connected East and West along the Silk Road and beyond. This panel brings together art historians and archaeologists to examine Gandharan art, architecture and archaeology and their connections between East and West. Nasim Khan revisits the Buddhist site of Butkara III and examines the antiquities in their proper archaeological context in order to understand chronology, iconography and special configuration in the stupa complex since they had not been properly investigated and contextualized in previous investigations. Lidu Yi investigates archaeological ruins above the cave-chapels in Yungang excavated from 2009-2012 in comparison with the sacred areas and monastery ruins at Takht-i-Bāhī in the Peshawar Basin, Pakistan, as well as the monastery ruins of Mekhasanda, Jaulian, Dharmarajika and Thareli since they demonstrate similarities of architectural configurations with those in Yungang. Xiao Li explores the Buddhist monastery ruins in Central Asia and northern South Asia covering the Pamir Mountains and India, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Girgis as well as the Tarim basin in Xinjiang, China. By comparing and contrasting the architectural layouts and structures of the monasteries in the above areas, the paper will shed new light on the architectural influences and times that the Gandhara region might have played in the Tarim basin. Ikuko Nakagawara revisits cave 110 in Kizil and deciphers several narrative scenes of mural paintings of Buddha’s life based on her recent in situ research.