GAYSĀTA

GAYSĀTA, the name of a town in Khotanese documents in the A. F. R. Hoernle, Mark Aurel Stein, Sven Hedin, and N. F. Petrovsky collections (mostly either in the locative singular form gayseta “in Gaysāta” or as a secondary adjective gaysātaja “of Gaysāta”). Some of the documents in which this name occurs are dated using regnal year of the Khotanese king Viśa’ Vāhaṃ in the second half of the 8th century C.E.

In 1987 Zhang Guangda and Rong Xinjiang convincingly identified the Khotanese official Spāta Sīḍakä of Gaysāta with Jiexie Sabo Silüe in a Chinese document from Dandan Öylïk (the first character of the name of the town was previously read as lie) dated to 786. This identification was later confirmed by another document in the Petrovsky collection which has a short bilingual text with Jiexiein Chinese and gayseta in Khotanese.

The provenance of each Khotanese document bearing the name of Gaysāta cannot be ascertained in most cases. They probably come from the ruins east and north of Khotan including Dandan Öylïk, which could represent Gaysāta/Jiexie in the 8th century if the Chinese document mentioned above can be shown to have issued from there. It is, however, equally possible that it was sent from some other place and received there.

Bibliography:

Zh. Guangda and R. Xinjiang, “Sur un manuscrit chinois découvert à Cira près de Khotan,” Cahiers d’Extreme-Asie 3, 1987, pp. 77-92; H. Kumamoto, “The Khotanese Documents from the Khotan Area,” Memoirs of the Research Department of the Tokyo Bunko 54, 1996, pp. 27-64.

(Hiroshi Kumamoto)

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