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Centuries-old scripture found in Lhasa

(Xinhua)

08:32, June 14, 2012

LHASA, June 13 (Xinhua) -- Cultural specialists in southwest China's Tibet autonomous region have found more than 100 pages of Tibetan scripture that dates back to the 13th century, local authorities said Wednesday.

The document, whose content covers traditional Tibetan medicine and religion, was found at a monastery in Nyemo county on the outskirts of Lhasa last week, said Tashi Gyatso, an official with Lhasa's cultural bureau.

"The pages were loose and the document was incomplete," he said.

But the text, written in black ink and on quality Tibetan paper made of bark fiber, was still legible, he said.

Though the text was written in Tibetan, most of the pages were numbered with Chinese characters, the official said.

"The document was compiled during the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368), almost 800 years ago," said Pempa Tsering, a Lhasa-based specialist on ancient Tibetan literature.

Tashi Gyatso said the local cultural authorities are preparing to include the rare document on China's national list of endangered cultural heritage for special preservation.

The finding was among a total of 853 cultural heritage pieces uncovered in Lhasa over the past year, he said.

"The cultural bureau is making a list of the city's cultural heritage items between 2011 and 2015, in order to better preserve these valuables."

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