News from Mar 18, 2017
The "Avestan Digital Archive" (ADA), a project by Prof. Cantera and his team, has started to move its servers to the Freie Universität Berlin. A first version of the website is already available, while we work on a new version with new functionalities. Stay tuned for more announcements.
Now part of the "Institute of Iranian Studies", Freie Universität Berlin, Alberto Cantera founded the Avestan Digital Archive (ADA) in 2008 while at the University of Salamanca. The goal of the project was to locate, digitise and publish all extant Avestan manuscripts of the long liturgy and its variations. To date, ADA’s team has located over 293 manuscripts of the long liturgy. Approximately 175 of these have been digitised and over 70 have already been published online. More than 130 of these manuscripts were previously unknown, with more than 60 being Iranian manuscripts produced in Iran.
These unexpected and unprecedented discoveries enabled Alberto and his team to re-evaluate the transmission of the Avestan manuscripts and rituals, leading to a challenge to Geldner’s text edition, which served for more than a century as the Avesta’s principal edition. The fresh analysis of the Avesta’s transmission has also questioned the established principles of text editions in Iranian Studies. Alberto has presented the results of his investigations in numerous publications, perhaps most notably in a series of lectures held in 2013 at “Collège de France”, later published as a monograph entitled “Vers une édition de la liturgie longue zoroastrienne: pensées et travaux préliminaire”.
More recently, ADA and the “Yādegar-e Bāstān” project in Tehran have established the series “Avestan Manuscripts in Iran” (AMI) to publish high quality colour facsimiles of the Avestan manuscripts produced in Iran. By publishing the most important Iranian manuscripts, the series hopes to contribute to the preservation of this important cultural and religious heritage. You can find out more about the first volume in the series here.