You see Hindu deities in Cave 285 and there are Chinese mythological beings flying around the ceiling. I think the fact that Buddhism would incorporate elements of Chinese culture into its fabric really helped,” offers Gates, citing among the artifacts a Christian hymn, Gloria in Excelsis Deo, translated to Chinese in the 10th century. There are also mandalas from when Dunhuang belonged to the Tibetan empire during the years 781-848, and a fragment of an Old Testament psalm written in Hebrew. “It was not the purity of any one cultural tradition that gave Dunhuang its strength. It was the ever-changing mix, the fusion of cultures that gave Dunhuang the ability to renew itself over and over again for over a thousand years.”My bold emphasis. This reference to a Hebrew Psalm fragment raises some interesting points. I was informed years ago (scroll down) that this fragment (assuming it is the same) is actually a page from the Slichot prayers ("the penitence oriented prayers recited around the High Holidays"), rather than the biblical Book of Psalms. But I have also read elsewhere that the Book of Psalms in a Syriac translation was found in the caves. I don't know if this is real or is a further misunderstanding of the reference to this Judeo-Persian prayer fragment. Does anyone know?
An earlier post on the Getty exhibition, with lots of related past posts, is here and links. Cross-file under Syriac Watch.