A Preliminary Study of Kharoṣṭhī Manuscript Paleography

August 2000

This study traces the development of the Kharoṣṭhī script primarily through the data made available by the recent discoveries of Kharoṣṭhī manuscripts. Epigraphic and numismatic sources are also taken into account to fill in the gaps in the history of the script.
Part one summarizes opinions on the development of this writing system, and presents a new hypothesis. Foot marks, which are characteristic of many letters in the script have been presented systematically. This is followed by a description of the writing tools used to write the manuscripts. In part two, all of the individual signs of the script are discribed and illustrated at various stages of development. An appendix includes detailed charts illustrating the full range of signs used in several of the most important manuscripts.