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CHINA, November 25, 2001: The exact year in which woodblock printing was invented is still very much debated in academic circles because no artifacts or documentary records related to the earliest printing have been discovered. However, a sheet with mantras of the Dharani Sutra, in Sanskrit, printed in the early Tang and unearthed in the suburban district of Xi'an is the earliest extant printing relic. A picture of the still readable sheet is shown at "source" above. The Dharani Sutra is the teaching of Buddha on "Longevity, the extinction of offenses, and the protection of young children.