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Taxila (tăkˈsĭlŭ) [key], archaeological site of three successive cities, near Rawalpindi, Pakistan. There between the 7th cent. B.C. and the 7th cent. A.D. was a flourishing city, famous as an ancient seat of learning. It was occupied (326 B.C.) by Alexander the Great, became prosperous under the empire of Asoka, and was overrun (c.1st–2d cent. A.D.) by the Kushans. It was a center of Buddhist studies and was visited in the 7th cent. by Hsüan-tsang. There are remains of Buddhist stupas and monasteries as well as sculpture of the Gandharan school of art.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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