Category Archives: Archaeology

Plan to develop Buddhist site at Chebrolu

 Officials inspecting the site where a Buddhist remains were unearthed at Bhimeswara Temple at Chebrolu in Guntur district. Photo: By Arrangement

Officials inspecting the site where a Buddhist remains were unearthed at Bhimeswara Temple at Chebrolu in Guntur district. Photo: By Arrangement

The Hindu, September 18, 2014 00:50 IST
M. SRINIVAS

‘Chebrolu was a territorial capital during Kakatiya dynasty’. A few sculptures made of lime and marble stone carvings and an image of a mystical animal and ‘Yaksha’ were also found along with large bricks used for constructing the site.

As part of its endeavour to develop ancient sites in the region, the Archaeology and Museums Department has decided to transform the old Bhimeswara temple at Chebrolu in Guntur district into a tourist spot as precious Buddhist remains belonging to the first or second century A.D. were found adjacent to the temple.

Six railing posts of Buddhist Stupa each measuring five-foot high and 60 cms width along with several other precious remains were unearthed while carrying out digging works on southern side of the temple as part of the temple renovation works by the department a few weeks ago. Continue reading

Excavating a late-Angkorian Buddhist terrace

from the Southeast Asian Archaeology blog

Terrace-GT83-300x200
David Brotherson
University of Sydney

This terrace is unusual because it is built on top of an earthen mound which rises six metres above the flood plain, and is located at the corner of two huge embankments (one of which is the East Baray). This leads us to speculate it may have had another function prior to the construction of the terrace.

[link]

Experts Fear Capital Burial of Buddhist Heritage along Krishna

Tourists enjoying the beauty of the Undavalli caves in Guntur district on Monday. (Bottom) A view of the famous Mogalrajpuram caves that are located in the heart of Vijayawada | EXPRESS PHOTO

Tourists enjoying the beauty of the Undavalli caves in Guntur district on Monday. (Bottom) A view of the famous Mogalrajpuram caves that are located in the heart of Vijayawada | EXPRESS PHOTO

New Indian Express
By P Laxma Reddy Published: 09th September 2014 06:24 AM Last Updated: 09th September 2014 06:24 AM

VIJAYAWADA: The state government must evolve a proper mechanism to protect archaeological monuments and historical sites before embarking on the massive construction of the Capital city in Vijayawada region as several important Buddhist remnants and sites are located on either side of river Krishna, feel culture and heritage enthusiasts.

They are worried about the possible destruction of the sites that are yet to be declared as protected monuments and also threat to the sites that were already declared as protected due to the rapid construction activity.

In view of this, they are demanding that the government take steps for a survey by the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) in this region in addition to the survey taken up by the state government to unearth more Buddhist or other remnants and also protect the unearthed sites.

“During the Satavahana period, the present Amaravati town was called Dhanyakataka or Dharanikota. And it was also the capital for them. We can find several ancient remains on either side of river Krishna in both Guntur and Krishna districts. I expect that we can unearth several monuments, if we take up a comprehensive survey and excavations in the area. In view of this, the government should take utmost care and conduct a survey before taking up constructions between Mangalagiri and Amaravati towns,” said an official of the Archaeology Department. Continue reading

China And Afghanistan’s Minerals: Archaeologists Still Scrambling To Save Mes Aynak

A Buddha statue discovered at the Mes Aynak archaeological site in the eastern province of Logar, in Afghanistan. The ancient city sits on top of one of the world’s largest known copper deposits, which is currently on lease to a state-owned Chinese mining company. Brent Huffman

A Buddha statue discovered at the Mes Aynak archaeological site in the eastern province of Logar, in Afghanistan. The ancient city sits on top of one of the world’s largest known copper deposits, which is currently on lease to a state-owned Chinese mining company. Brent Huffman

International Business Times
By Kathleen Caulderwood

on August 25 2014 4:56 PM

More than a decade ago, the world was outraged when the Taliban destroyed two massive Buddha statues in Afghanistan’s Bamiyan Valley in a vendetta against all non-Islamic art. Today, an even larger and older collection of artifacts is under threat, but this time the conflict has more to do with economics than religion.

Mes Aynak is a 9,800-acre archeological site in Afghanistan’s Logar Province. It was once a major city on the ancient Silk Road and is home to structures dating back more than 2,600 years. Archeologists say it’s a cultural goldmine, but others are more concerned with what lies beneath it — 5.5 million metric tons of high-grade copper ore.

Six years ago, China’s largest mining company signed a $3 billion agreement with the Afghan government for rights to the site, a move cheered for its potential to boost jobs and the country’s struggling economy. But the decision left archeologists scrambling to recover what cultural heritage they could before work on the mine began. Even though the company has delayed its project for other reasons, tight budgets and a lack of assistance from the Afghan government mean the ancient city is far from safe.

An ancient Buddhist stupa uncovered at the Mes Aynak archaeological site. Brent Huffman

An ancient Buddhist stupa uncovered at the Mes Aynak archaeological site. Brent Huffman

Continue reading

‘Hand over Bheemili sites to ASI for upkeep’

Times of India
TNN | Aug 26, 2014, 02.45AM IST

VISAKHAPATNAM: The ancient Buddhist heritage sites of Thotlakonda and Bavikonda should be handed over to the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) for conservation as they are not properly maintained by the state-run archaeology department and archaeological norms are being violated in and around the sites. This was the observation made by a heritage conservation expert when asked by the Intach (Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage) headquarters at Delhi to visit the sites and submit an assessment report.

BK Rath, heritage conservation and culture consultant with Intach, and former superintendent of Odisha State Archaeology and State Archives, toured the two Buddhist sites of Thotlakonda and Bavikonda near Bheemilipatnam on Monday. He was accompanied by senior Intach Vizag members Rani Sarma and Mayank Kumari Deo. The sites have 2,000-year-old stupas and chaityas and is said to belong to the non-iconic Therawada Buddhism sect.

“These are very important and ancient archaeological sites, which can definitely be better managed by ASI where even the Union tourism ministry can’t interfere. From my work experience, I have found that the state archaeology departments suffer from various limitations, including shortage of technically skilled manpower, expertise and funds, besides various types of political pressure in fund utilisation. The work done in the sites some two to three decades ago now needs retouching by skilled hands, but the tourism department usually engages consultants who are modern architects and not archaeologists,” averred Rath. Continue reading

Buddha bowl return request gets louder

The Telegraph
PIYUSH KUMAR TRIPATHI

Patna, Aug. 10: Strong voices are now being raised from the state to bring back the 400kg greenish-grey bowl kept at National Museum of Afghanistan in Kabul to Vaishali, which is being claimed to be its place of origin.

The bowl, considered to be one of the most revered relics in Buddhism across the globe, was supposedly used by Gautam Buddha as a “daanpatra” (alms bowl) during his stay in Vaishali.

Art, culture and youth affairs department minister Vinay Bihari said today that the state government would extend its support to the central government in establishing the provenance of the bowl in Vaishali.

Veteran RJD leader and former Vaishali MP Raghuvansh Prasad Singh has written a letter to chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi, asking him to write to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to initiate steps to bring back the bowl.

The Telegraph yesterday reported that archaeologists have lately found strong evidences to prove that the bowl was made in the 6th century BC in Vaishali, and taken to Kandahar (then Gandhar) in Afghanistan by the first century Kushan emperor Kanishka. Continue reading

Buddhist relics found at Confucian academy

A gilded bronze vajra (top left) and a bell (top right) used in Buddhist rituals and presumed to be from the 12th century were found in a Confucian academy site in Dobong District, northern Seoul, the Cultural Heritage Administration said yesterday. A total of 77 artifacts were found. [NEWS1],[NEWSIS]

A gilded bronze vajra (top left) and a bell (top right) used in Buddhist rituals and presumed to be from the 12th century were found in a Confucian academy site in Dobong District, northern Seoul, the Cultural Heritage Administration said yesterday. A total of 77 artifacts were found. [NEWS1],[NEWSIS]

Korean JoongAng Daily
The artifacts could be from as early as the eighth century.

Aug 22,2014

A trove of Buddhist artifacts was unearthed on the site of a Confucian academy in Korea, the first discovery of its kind in the country.

The site in Dobong District, northern Seoul, was originally the site of a Buddhist temple called Yeongguk Temple.

The temple, whose construction date is uncertain, existed between Korea’s Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392) and the early part of the subsequent Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910). Records say in 1573 a seowon – the Confucian institution that functioned as both an academy and a shrine – was built on the site, which was called Dobong Seowon.

Scholars say, therefore, the finding reflects one of Joseon’s governing policies: “Repress Buddhism and promote Confucianism.” Whereas during Goryeo, Buddhism was a state religion and Buddhist culture and art flourished, Joseon chose Confucianism as its state religion, leading to the decline of Buddhist culture and art. Continue reading