Oldest Buddhism literature in Chinese discovered in Northern China

People's Daily Online, Jan 19, 2006

Beijing, China -- "Zhu Fo Yao Ji Jing", a collection of Buddhist sutra in Chinese, has been discovered out of a number of fragments in Dalian, a coastal city in northeast China's Liaoning Province.

Some of the slates are as large of magazines we read and some of them are as small as nail.

As the oldest Buddhism literature in Chinese, the collection was completed in 296 AD during Chinese Western Jin Dynasty (265-317).

Researchers with the Lushun Museum in Lushun city of Liaoning Province devoted themselves to sticking the fragments together and make them into a book.

It took two months for them to complete the work, combining totally 14 pieces into 11 tablets, the smallest of which contains fewer than ten characters.