The Turfan Studies project edits texts that were found in and around the Turfan oasis in East Turkestan (Autonomous Region of Xinjiang, People’s Republic of China).
The ancient cultures of the Silk Road, to which numerous peoples and religious communities contributed, can be seen most clearly in the texts and images that they themselves left behind. The most complex and richest collection of these documents comes from the oasis of Turfan. It includes Buddhist, Manichaean and Christian texts as well as documents from everyday monastic and commercial life, letters and other texts, in over 20 languages and scripts. The main task of this long-term Academy Project is the edition of the Turkish and Iranian part of the Berlin Turfan Collection.
The editions are published in the project’s own publication series, the Berliner Turfantexte (BTT). To protect the originals, to preserve the archive in digital form, and to make the texts available online, a digitalisation project has been initiated with the financial support of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) and in close cooperation with the Staatsbibliothek Berlin: the Digital Turfan Archive (HTML, 16KB) and, based on that, the IDP Berlin, the German web presence of the International Dunhuang Project .
Meanwhile the complete Turfan collection has been digitised. There is close cooperation between the Turfan Studies research office and the Union Catalogue of Oriental Manuscripts in German Collections , a project organised by the Academy of Sciences and Humanities in Göttingen. In addition, the Turfan Studies project collaborates with numerous research institutions around the world from the USA to Japan.
This long-term Academy Project is part of the Research Centre for Primary Sources of the Ancient World at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities.
The Academy research project “Turfan Studies” is part of the Academies' Programme , a research funding programme co-financed by the German federal government and individual federal states. Coordinated by the Union of the German Academies of Sciences and Humanities , the Programme intends to retrieve and explore our cultural heritage, to make it accessible and highlight its relevance to the present, as well as to preserve it for the future.