Ciro Lo Muzio, Remarks on the Paintings from the Buddhist Monastery of Fayaz Tepe (Southern Uzbekistan)

Mural from the south-western wall of the central court: a female donor with a
ram’s-horn headdress. Taškent, Muzej istorii narodov Uzbekistana. Photo: Lo Muzio.
Mural from the south-western wall of the central court: a female donor with a ram’s-horn headdress. Taškent, Muzej istorii narodov Uzbekistana. Photo: Lo Muzio.



The paintings unearthed in the Buddhist monastery of Fayaz Tepe (Termez oasis, Uzbekistan) are commonly dated to the flourishing of the Kuṣāṇa epoch, more precisely to Kaniṣka’s reign (second quarter of the 2nd century C.E.). Under careful scrutiny, however, they reveal a so far unremarked relationship with early Sasanian art as well as, to some degree, with the early medieval painting of Tokharestan. On the ground of this evidence, a terminus post quem in the 4th century appears a more reasonable starting point for any hypothesis about their chronology.