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Is it appropriate to ask a celestial lady’s age?
Rienjang W. (ed.) 2018. Problems of Chronology in Gandhāran Art. p135-148 by Robert Bracey. DOI: 10.32028/9781784918552P135-148.
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This short piece is adapted from the text of the presentation I gave at the Gandhāra Connections workshop on 24th March 2017 so it is somewhat informal in style. I have in some cases expanded the references and argument, but it remains an exploration of a theme based on a single piece rather than an attempt at a comprehensive study. I wished to explore two central and related questions. The first is how pieces can be dated when they are deprived of either firm archaeological context or dated inscriptions? And the second question is whether this is the right question to be asking. These questions are important for almost all Gandhāran work, and also for the class of Mathurān pieces I have chosen here. The choice of a Mathurān piece reflects both my own interests and also my belief that viewing Gandhāra in isolation from its southern neighbour has been harmful to the study of both. I also want to make clear that this is not really a paper about the Cleveland Dancers. Though the central question is when the Cleveland Dancers were made, the purpose is to explore whether dating is the right question to pursue.

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