Mixed blessings for those born in the Year of the Rooster

Ursula Sims-Williams Stories from the Collection 2 Comments

The Year of the Rooster begins on 28th January 2017. What better excuse could there be for writing about an early 9th century description of the animal cycle written in the Eastern Iranian language Khotanese. Descriptions of the years of the monkey, cock, dog and pig, the last four years of the 12 year animal cycle. Photo: International Dunhuang Project (British Library Or.11252/1) This document is one of a group of forty one documents presented to the then British Museum in 1930 by Frederick Williamson who was Consul-General for the …

Christmas and New Year Greetings

Ursula Sims-Williams Stories from the Collection 1 Comment

The Ancient India and Iran Trust will be closed for Christmas and New Year from 23 December until 2 January 2017. It will re-open again on Tuesday 3rd January. We wish you all a very happy Christmas and New Year with a reproduction of this Christmas card sent to Sir Harold Bailey in 1946 by the Norwegian Indologist Sten Konow (1867-1948). Konow had worked with the Central Asian explorer Sir Aurel Stein and the Sanskritist Rudolf Hoernle to decipher the newly discovered Central Asian texts in Khotanese, work which Bailey …

An Unexpected Discovery in the Archives

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Some unexpected recent discoveries at the Ancient India and Iran Trust were two preserved leaves from the bodhi or pipal tree (ficus religiosa). According to Professor Bailey’s note, he discovered the leaf (shown above) on 29 May 1941 in Professor Rapson’s copy of Ausgewählte Erzählungen in Māhārāshṭrī, edited by Hermann Jacobi, Leipzig, 1886 (AIIT A11G 7). The leaf is inscribed, presumably by Professor Rapson himself,  “Bo Tree (Peepul) / Temple of / the Tooth / Kandy / Nov. 1914.” Edward Rapson and Harold Bailey in 1936 (AIIT Bailey Archive) Professor …