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The Relationship between Mogao Cave 361 and Its Neighboring Middle Tang Caves(A Serial Study on Mogao Cave 361:Ⅸ)

ZHAO Xiaoxing;Textual Research Institute,Dunhuang Academy;  
Mogao cave 361,which was constructed during the later period of the Tibetan Occupation,is one of the most representative Middle Tang caves.It is situated on the north end of the Southern Area north of the Three-story Tower at the Mogao Grottoes.The neighboring Middle Tang caves exemplify mature esoteric Buddhism.Focusing on Mogao cave 361 and based on field investigation,this paper first examines the relationship between Mogao cave 361 and Mogao caves 359 and 360,as well as other neighboring Middle Tang caves,and then concludes that the group of caves on the north end of the Southern Area were the most important place for esoteric Buddhist activities during the Middle and Later Tang periods.
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