The existence of the Tocharian language and alphabet only came to light in the early 20th century, when fragments of manuscripts in a then unknown alphabet were discovered in Xinjiang in north-western China.
Once the manuscripts were deciphered, they proved, much to the amazement of linguists, to be in an hitherto unknown branch of the Indo-European group of languages, which they called 'Tocharian'. The alphabet they were written in is derived from the Brahmi alphabet.
Tocharian, an extinct Indo-European language which was spoken between the 6th and 8th centuries AD, and probably earlier, in what is now north-western China.
Everything you always wanted to know about Tocharian
Images of Tocharian Manuscripts
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