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Introduction

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Chapter Summary

Among the Buddhist kingdoms of Central Asia, the Kingdom of Kuča is the best suited to reconstruct local Buddhism between 200 and 650 CE, because a great number of rock-carved monasteries, large and small, are still extant, although in varying states of preservation. The theme of this work is the study of Buddhist cave architecture and its painting as expressions of a local form of monasticism. The theme of this work is the study of Buddhist cave architecture and its painting as expressions of a local form of monasticism. It offers a hypothetical reconstruction of the life of the monastic communities which established several Buddhist sites in various geographic locations of the Kingdom of Kuča. On account of their scale, Qizil and Qumtura are the best known, but equally important are Qizil Qargha, Simsim, Mazabaha, Tograk-eken, Taitaier, and Wenbashi.

Keywords: Buddhist kingdoms; Kingdom of Kuča; rock-carved monasteries

10.1163/9789004279391_002
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