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1 Introduction

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Chapter Summary

The term 'archaeology of the book' is used here in the context of studying the physical make-up and production of a given volume. It comprises analyses of the structures of books and an interpretation of technological aspects. This essay is about the physical features of Tibetan books, which exist in several formats and incorporate a wide variety of materials. This essay will not use the term 'codicology' in the context of old Tibetan manuscripts. Codicology is related to the study of the 'codex', which is a bound book. Between the second and fourth centuries, the preservation of writing in the Latin world moved from papyrus stored in rolls to parchment stored in a "codex", or pages bound as books. Another reason for using the term 'archaeology' is that the majority of Tibetan books feature the pothi format, a construction of loose leaves.

Keywords: archaeology; codex; codicology; pothi

10.1163/9789004275058_002
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