By Mostafa Vaziri (auth.)
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Extra resources for Buddhism in Iran: An Anthropological Approach to Traces and Influences
91 Following Tucci’s research, Melikian-Chirvani published a study containing a list of plausible and interesting cross-influences between the Iranian and Tibetan worlds, from both before and during the Buddhist era92 (Tibet became Buddhist in the seventh century). 95 The suggestion that certain Tibetan Buddhist motifs were borrowed from Iranian sources further supports evidence of exchange between the two cultures. 96 Today this crescent moon symbol is seen in almost all types of stūpas in the Himalayan countries (the very same crescent moon is present in the Islamic emblems).
The maritime trade with Serendīp (Sri Lanka) and India via the Persian Gulf created another network with the Hindu-Buddhist world. 104 Commercial ships coming from Serendīp and the southern part of India and landing in the Persian Gulf ports such as Rēv Ardeshir, near the present port of Bushir, as well as the important port of Sīrāf, conceivably brought not only goods105 but also Buddhist settlers and relics that influenced the Persian Gulf region in various 26 Buddhism in Iran cultural ways, a subject that has remained unexplored in the field of anthropology until now.
The ancient and medieval contacts of the Iranian with the Buddhist world occurred through direct geographical proximity and Buddhist settlements in Iran, as well as indirectly through travel, missionary, trade, and migration. The Silk Route and other trade routes allowed the transporting of ideas and cultures by Buddhist settlers, missionaries, and 16 Buddhism in Iran traders traveling through China, Turkistan, Central Asia, Khurāsān, and Iran. Could it be that the residues of Buddhist settlements of this pre-Islamic period are the many monastic caves, footprints, and obscure shrines that were left behind?
Buddhism in Iran: An Anthropological Approach to Traces and Influences by Mostafa Vaziri (auth.)