A mystery manuscript has been found in Manchester – an expert in Burmese history from Manchester Metropolitan University identified the manuscript found in Trafford Archive.
Dr Tilman Fasch, senior lecturer in history at the university was called upon for his knowledge by Karen Cliff, a local studies specialist at the archives in Trafford to identify the text.
The text was found in a box where it has been for 20 years.
Dr Fasch idenfified the mystery manuscript as a “nissaya” which is a manuscript of rules for Buddhust monks, with sections written in an ancient Bali language.
Pages are made of palm leaves which have to be treated with oil to make them pliable.
The last page of the document would usually include the date was missing – however Dr Tilman estimates its origin at around 1850.
The original manual, Khuddasikkha, is thought to have been written between 4th-11th century by monk Dhammasirri Theru.
Karen Cliff said: “We found the manuscript in a box, but we didn’t know what it was, other than that it was some kind of religious text – we couldn’t read it.”
Chethams library in Manchester housed a similar manuscript, the school directed Mrs Cliff to Dr Fasch.
She said “It has been in the archives since maybe around 1900 and has been in the box we found it in for 20 years, but we have no idea where it was before then.
“Our mission now is to find out how it came to us – it would be nice if we could give it a little more provenance.”
The manuscript will now be preserved safely in the archives.
(An improved picture could have been one of the Archive centre with Dr Fasch and Karen Cliff infront, or just the building/sign for the building so people knew what the article was about before reading it. The picture at the moment could mean the story is about any file.)