China Thursday published a selected edition of the Phuri Manuscripts, the oldest and largest collection of ancient Tibetan literature discovered in the country.
The two-volume book, produced from photocopies of the originals, has more than 800 pages. It accounts for around five percent of the total collection.
The book was published by Tibetan Ancient Classics Publishing House.
The Phuri Manuscripts are a collection of ancient and rare Tibetan literature that was found in Phuri Village in the city of Xigaze in 2002.
The manuscripts consist of around 12,000 pages of Tibetan classics and documents, such as religious literature, poetry, and biographies. They reflect the natural landscape, folk traditions, and customs of the region.
They were created before the 14th century, according to paper tests and expert analysis, and were housed by the library of Tibet University in 2007.
"This publication offers a unique contribution not only to the field of Tibetan studies but also to Buddhist studies and Asian studies more generally," Hildegard Diemberger, General Secretary of the International Association for Tibetan Studies, said in a letter.
Researchers from Tibet University have repaired, cataloged, and digitalized these ancient Tibetan manuscripts, according to Sherab Sangpo, a researcher with the university's Tibetan Ancient Books Research Institute. He was also among those who discovered the manuscripts.
"From discovery to publication, it has taken us 16 years. It shows our attitude and efforts to protect Tibetan classics and culture," Sherab Sangpo said.