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The Neglected “Backyard” of Early Chinese Manuscripts: How an Analysis of the Verso of Bamboo Slips can enable the Reconstruction of a Manuscript Roll

Staack, Thies

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Abstract

One of the basic problems that researchers have to face, when dealing with early Chinese bamboo or wood manuscripts, is natural disintegration. In almost every case, the binding strings that once held together the slips originally constituting a manuscript do either not exist anymore or only remain as traces on individual slips. The problem of reconstruction becomes even more complex, if the manuscript in question was not scientifically excavated or even is of unknown provenance. The present article shows how an analysis of verso lines and mirror-inverted imprints of writing on a group of bamboo slips from the Yuelu Academy collection can help to reconstruct the original structure of the respective manuscript roll. The described analysis can in certain cases enable or facilitate the complete reconstruction of bamboo manu-scripts, even if external archeological evidence is lacking.

Item Type: Article
Date Deposited: 07 Jul 2017 06:36
Date: 2017
Faculties / Institutes: Philosophische Fakultät > Institut für Sinologie
Subjects: 090 Manuscripts and rare books
490 Other languages
930 History of ancient world
950 General history of Asia Far East
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