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2 Formative Elements of Rock Monasteries of Ancient Kuča

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Chapter Summary

A new approach is needed to revitalize the study of the Buddhist sites of the ancient Kingdom of Kuča, a field in which scholars are often rearranging scarce and outdated material instead of engaging in productive fieldwork. The crucial fact that the majority of the caves in Kuča were carved close to one another as to form groups has been only partially acknowledged, while its implications have not been systematically worked out. The functioning of the site was result of a harmonious interaction of these three basic units: individual caves, groups of caves and districts. This chapter discuses the hypothesis that, just as a site was formed by different elements and functioned because of their harmonious interrelation, similarly all the Buddhist monasteries and sites of Kuča were related parts of a network, each one fulfilling a specific purpose in the framework of Buddhism in the Kingdom of Kuča.

Keywords: Buddhist sites; caves; Kuča; monasteries



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