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Chapter 4: Illustrations and Labels

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Chapter Summary

This chapter presents a list of Illustrations and labels of shrine Buddhas. It begins with 466 shrines, which added to all of the viharas. Typically, they contained a central block appropriate for cutting into a stupa, but from 469 on, the central blocks were used to hold a Buddha image. Until 470, in part because due to the constraints imposed by the block, the Buddhas were very simple; but starting in Cave 17 and 19 paired bodhisattvas became essential additions, causing extreme crowding in Caves 1 and 4, cut as they were from the face of the central block. It was only by about 475 that Buddhas and attendants would be comfortably placed in the rear wall of the shrines. This also allowed the easier placement of the throne base devotees that became de rigueur in the last years of activity at the site.

Keywords: bodhisattvas; Caves; shrine Buddhas



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