Category Archives: Archaeology

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

Researchers come across trove of Buddhist artifacts

This photo provided by the Seoul Institute of Cultural Heritage shows a Buddhist ritual bell from the Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392) uncovered at the site of Dobong Seowon, a Joseon-era (1392-1910) shrine in northern Seoul. (Yonhap)

This photo provided by the Seoul Institute of Cultural Heritage shows a Buddhist ritual bell from the Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392) uncovered at the site of Dobong Seowon, a Joseon-era (1392-1910) shrine in northern Seoul. (Yonhap)

Published : 2014-08-21 20:44
Updated : 2014-08-21 20:44
South Korean researchers said Thursday they have uncovered dozens of artifacts used in Buddhist ceremonies nearly a millennium ago, as they begin to unravel the mystery behind an ancient shrine where they were discovered.

The 77 artifacts include a vajra, a type of club with ribbed spherical heads, bells and censers thought to be from the Joseon era (1392-1910), or possibly even earlier.

Researchers at the Seoul Institute of Cultural Heritage were wrapping up an archaeological field survey on Dobong Seowon, a tiny shrine for two Joseon-era scholars in northern Seoul, when they came upon a pot containing the objects.

Scientists said the artifacts could even be from the earlier Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392), as the site of their discovery matches the location of a Goryeo temple ― one of the utensils even bears its name, the Dobong Temple.

Joo Kyeong-mi, a professor specializing in metalcraft, said the artifacts seem to be from the 11th century “at the latest,” as some of them exhibit traits unique to those found from the eighth and ninth centuries.

The fact that the pot was wrapped in a straw mat also suggests it may have been buried intentionally, she added.

Although the field survey was conducted in 2012, researchers said it took them two years to ensure that the artifacts would not decompose.

They were put on display at Seoul’s National Palace Museum of Korea on Thursday in an exhibit cohosted by the South Korean government. (Yonhap)

[link]

Ancient Buddhist Site Left Unprotected by Indian Government

Ancient archaeological site in Srinagar known to be a Buddhist monument. From www.risingkashmir.com

Ancient archaeological site in Srinagar known to be a Buddhist monument. From http://www.risingkashmir.com

Buddhistdoor International
Naushin Ahmed
2014-08-19

An archaeological site that is known to be a Buddhist monument is facing danger in Srinagar, India. The site, which dates to the 3rd century, is located in Srinagar’s Harwan area, and was proclaimed an archaeological site two years ago by the Department of Archives, Archaeology and Museums J&K (Jammu and Kashmir).

Despite being included in a proposal to the Indian government for the protection of unidentified archaeological sites in the state, officials told Rising Kashmir that they hadn’t received any response from either the state government or the government of India.

The site is known to belong to a Buddhist period from which terracotta tiles have been recovered. Two archaeological monuments, dated at 15 and 11 centuries old, have apparently also been left unprotected by the state government: according to Dr. Fida Hassnain one of them, Pandrathan Temple, was built on the site of the Buddhist temple where Xuanzang, a Chinese monk, stayed during his two years in Kashmir (Wang 2006, 268–69). Rising Kashmir further reports that the Indian and state governments have not provided protection for 144 other proposed archaeological sites in J&K. The requests from officials seem to have gone unnoticed, even though the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and State Archaeology Act both urge the importance of conserving such sites. Continue reading

Under the sands of time: Ancient Buddhist mound discovered in Sector E-11

 

The mound is located in Sector E-11, next to the Pakistan Medical Cooperative Housing Society, Islamabad. PHOTO: EXPRESS

The mound is located in Sector E-11, next to the Pakistan Medical Cooperative Housing Society, Islamabad. PHOTO: EXPRESS

By Riazul Haq
Published in The Express Tribune, June 16th, 2014.

ISLAMABAD:

A group of researchers have discovered an ancient mound in Sector E-11 where they found a bovine terracotta pottery fragment that could date back to the Bronze Age.

The mound, discovered during documentation work by the Potohar Research Group (PRG) and the National College of Arts (NCA), is in a precarious situation and needs preservation.

It lies at the northern end of Sector E-11 on Service Road North, a few yards from nearby houses and slums.

The PRG found the bovine figure on a terracotta potsherd during surface collection and without any excavation work.

NCA Rawalpindi Campus Director Dr Nadeem Omar Tarrar says that he sent a picture of one of the potsherds to Italian archaeologist Luca Olivieri, who reckoned it might date back to the Bronze Age.

Muhammad Bin Naveed, an archaeologist accompanying the researchers, said the mound is in extremely precarious condition and needs urgent excavation work for a detailed picture of the site. Continue reading

Govt fails to protect archaeological monuments in JK

city-lead-300x185‘3rd century AD Buddist site not on protection list’

Rising Kashmir, Sumaiya Yousuf

Srinagar, Aug 02: State government has failed to protect a 3rd century AD archaeological monument located in the Harwan area of summer capital.

The monument is situated in Harwan Srinagar and is known to be a Buddhist site.

This site was identified by the department of Archives, Archaeology and Museums J&K two years ago and was immediately declared as an archaeological site.

The approximate date of construction of this site is 3rd century AD.

According to the officials, they had sent a proposal to Government of India (GoI) for the protection of unidentified archaeological sites in J&K. “This site was also included in the proposal but we didn’t get any response from State government as well as GoI,” the officials said.

They added that this site belongs to Buddist period where the Terracotta Tiles have also been found.
“The State government is not protecting this site and not only this site but there are number of sites similar to this one which are not protected by the State government,” officials said. Continue reading

SAARC International Conference on Archaeology of Buddhism – Round Table Discussion