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Sheila S. Blair and Jonathan M. Bloom

(b. Wiesbaden, 1908; d. Heidelberg, 4 April, 1999).

Art historian of Viennese birth. She studied at Vienna University with Josef Strzygoswki, submitting her thesis on Sasanian silver in 1933. The following year she volunteered at the Islamic department of the State Museum in Berlin under Ernst Kühnel, who had succeeded Friedrich Sarre as director three years earlier. In the spring of 1935 Otto-Dorn went to Turkey, working with the German Archaeological Institute on the ceramics of Iznik and excavating at Kahta in southeast Anatolia. World War II forced her to return to Europe, and in 1948 she began teaching at Heidelberg University, while also excavating at Rusafa in northeastern Syria and then at Kubadabad on Lake Beyşehir. In 1954 she returned to Turkey, where she established the chair of Islamic art and archaeology at Ankara and trained many Turkish students. In 1964 she returned to Heidelberg, but unable to find a position in Germany, she took up the position of professor of Islamic Art at the University of California at Los Angeles, where she taught from ...

Article

Sanchi  

Michael D. Willis

[Sāñcī; anc. Kākaṇāya; Kākaṇāva; Kākanādaboṭa; Botaśrīparvata]

Buddhist site in Madhya Pradesh, India, 70 km from Bhopal, best known for three well-preserved stupas, part of a group of 51 monuments dating from the 3rd century bc to the 13th century ad. A full excavation and conservation effort was undertaken at Sanchi by John Marshall in 1912–19, bringing the monuments to their present condition. Marshall numbered the monuments 1 to 50, retaining most of the numbering allocated by Alexander Cunningham in a survey carried out in the mid-19th century. An additional monastery (51) was excavated in 1936. Since that time a Buddhist temple in an ‘Indo-revival’ style has been built on the hill, and the site’s Archaeological Museum constructed near the railway station.

Sanchi does not seem to have been the focus of any event in the life of the Buddha or his immediate followers. It prospered largely because it met the requirements for an ideal Buddhist retreat: situated on a hill 90 m high, it was a place of beauty and tranquillity not far from the commercial and political centre of Vidisha. The earliest possible reference to Sanchi is in the ...