Kushana Donative Inscriptions


The objectives of this project are to aggregate a selection of inscription TextBases from across two language/scripts, Gāndhārī/Kharoṣṭhī and Epigraphical Hybrid Sanskrit (EHS)/Brāhmī composed in both the first and second century of the Kuṣāṇa period, into a collection.  The collection encompasses a range of exemplars recording the donation of different types of religious objects.  The project leverages existing TextBases developed in the Gandhāran relic inscriptions project and required development of EHS inscriptions.

Research Proposition

The research objective is to compare donative formula structures in Gāndhārī and EHS inscriptions.  The methodology adopted was to initially apply the formulae analysis methodology implemented on Gāndhārī TextBases and progressively extended and adapt the analysis ontology to the requirements of each TextBase across the range of EHS donative inscriptions.  The range of ontological variation in the resultant sequenced aggregate will expose the variation in donative formulae.

Research Results

The initial research output was the generation of aligned substrates for each of the EHS TextBases as the basis for registration of semantic and shallow syntax analysis strata.  The second research output, a mapped aggregate, was the output of an iterative process of ontological mapping and refinement to develop a synthesized ontology that encompasses the range of donative formulae across both Gāndhārī and EHS inscriptions.  As the inscriptions span two language/scripts, merger of grammatical or palaeographic strata to a corpus aggregate was not feasible.