The birthplace of the Buddha has been found in Nepal, revealing that the origins of Buddhism date to the sixth century B.C., according to archaeologists. What’s more, evidence of tree roots at the birth site reinforce the mythology of Buddha’s birth under a tree.
The excavations took place within the already sacred Maya Devi Temple at Lumbini, Nepal, a UNESCO World Heritage site long thought to have been the Buddha’s birthplace.
The archaeological team dug under a series of brick temples at the site and unearthed a previously unknown sixth-century B.C. timber structure. It is described in the latest issue of the journal Antiquity. Read more.
In the ruins of a Buddhist monastery in Afghanistan, archaeologists have uncovered a stone statue that seems to depict the prince Siddhartha before he founded Buddhism.
The stone statue, or stele, was discovered at the Mes Aynak site in a ruined monastery in 2010, but it wasn’t until now that it was analyzed and described. Gérard Fussman, a professor at the Collège de France in Paris, details his study in “The Early Iconography of Avalokitesvara” (Collège de France, 2012).
Standing 11 inches (28 centimeters) high and carved from schist — a stone not found in the area — the stele depicts a prince alongside a monk. Based on a bronze coin found nearby, Fussman estimates the statue dates back at least 1,600 years. Siddhartha lived 25 centuries ago. Read more.
Beijing, May 8 : Ruins of a Buddhist temple dating back to 1,500 years ago have been discovered in China’s largest desert, offering valuable insight for historians studying Buddhism’s spread from India to China, Xinhua news agency reported.
The temple’s main hall has a rare structure based around three square-shaped corridors and a huge Buddha statue.
"The hall is the largest of its kind found in the Taklimakan Desert since the first archaeologist came to work in the area in the 20th century," said Wu Xinhua, the leading archaeologist of the excavation project. It is so far the best Buddhist site for scholars to study how the religion arrived in China from India, and its early development in the country, Wu told Xinhua.
Wu, who also heads the Xinjiang archeological team of the Chinese Academy of Social Science, said it could be uncovered after two months of hard work in China’s Xinjiang Uygur region.
The ruins are located in the south of the Taklimakan Desert, in the Tarim Basin, known as the Damago Oasis in the ancient kingdom of Khotan, a Buddhist civilisation believed to date back to the 3rd century BC. Read more.
Hazaribagh: The temple village of Itkhori in Chatra district, 63km from Hazaribagh, is buzzing with excitement. In a day or two, chosen sites on its famed Ma Bhadrakali temple premises will be dug up for the first time by a team from the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).
The temple, dating circa 7th century AD, is unique as it is a confluence of three religions —Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism.
Besides Bhadrakali, seen as a propitious form of Kali, Shiva and Hanuman idols complete the Hindu influence. Besides these, there is a stupa with 1,008 figurines of Buddha and the charan paduka (slippers) of Jain Tirthankar Sheetalnath. All are made of black stone, with similar aesthetic styles, suggesting religious co-existence in close proximity in the Middle Ages. Read more.
Archaeologists at the Deccan College here have found lateritic blocks, which form the outer enclosing walls of earthen mounds that bear similarity to the earthen stupas associated with early Buddhism, during excavations at Sisupalgarh, an early historic city on the outskirts of Bhubaneshwar. Read more.