Over many years, the linguist and FWF START-Award winner Melanie Malzahn has compiled and analysed thousands of text fragments of the Tocharian language in an online database and made them accessible to the science community. An extinct branch of the Indo-European language family, Tocharian is distinguished by the fact that some of its texts were found even on the Silk Road in what is now Western China. This makes Tocharian the easternmost of the Indo-European languages. The Tocharians were one link that assisted the spreading of Buddhism from northern India to China. The texts thus provide valuable insights into the flourishing culture of the Silk Road in the 1st millennium.

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