Category Archives: Archaeology

Book: Vibrant Rock offers a rare peek into stone sculptures in Bengal

The Hindu
July 20, 2014

The first-ever catalogue of stone sculptures collected from different parts of West Bengal, Bihar, and parts of Bangladesh belonging to Brahmanical, Buddhist, and Jain pantheon has been published by Directorate of Archaeology and Museum, Department of Information and Cultural Affairs, Government of West Bengal.

Archaeologists say the first-ever catalogue of historical stone sculptures in the region titled Vibrant Rock contains a comprehensive details of 444 stone sculptures housed in the State Archaeological Museum at Behala in the southern parts of the city, dated between the sixth and 19th century AD. Continue reading

Buddhists ask for Bodh Gaya to be dry, vegetarian zone

Redfiff News
July 16, 2014

Buddhists and Hindus have joined hands demanding that Bihar’s twin towns of Gaya and Bodh Gaya be declared vegetarian and a dry area.
The demand came from two quarters – the Mahabodhi Society of India and Vishnupad temple management.

Speaking of their demand, Sivali Thero, a Buddhist monk associated to MSI, said, “We have launched a campaign for the same.”

He said, “Bodh Gaya was the place where Lord Buddha had attained enlightenment. This is the spot from where he preached non-violence towards any living being. Hence, in accordance with his teachings, we want Bodh Gaya to be made into a vegetarian zone. Continue reading

Photo essay: Visit to Jaulian Buddhist Monastery

People’s Daily
Li Shen
July 05, 2014

A close look at one of the surviving votive stupas at the ruins. ( Shen)

Jaulian are the ruins of an ancient Buddhist monastery which are quite close to Taxila, an ancient town and archeological site in northwestern Pakistan. The ruins consist of two main parts: the main stupa and the monastery of Jaulian. Taxila was an important Buddhist centre of learning from the 5th century B.C. to the 2nd century A.D. The Jaulian Buddhist Monastery is considered as the oldest university of the world.

For more photos, follow the [link].

Ancient Buddhist casket found in north China


Wikipedia: Hebei Province

SHIJIAZHUANG, July 3 (Xinhua) — A Jade casket containing relics of a prominent Buddhist has been found in north China’s Hebei Province, local authorities said on Thursday.

A farmer accidentally found a cushion-sized “stone” when he was ploughing fields in the historic site of Yecheng, a 2,500-year-old ancient city located in what is now Linzhang County of Handan City, according to the county’s cultural relics protection department. Continue reading

ASI discovers Buddha engravings in Arunachal

Hindustan Times
Vanita Srivastava
June 29, 2014

A team from the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has recently found two engravings of Buddha in Tawang district of Arunachal Pradesh, which could throw new light on the Buddhist tradition of the region.

The team led by superintendent archaeologist SS Gupta found the engraving on a fallen rock near Zemithang, 94 km north of Tawang.

Below the engraving, a one-line inscription has been carved into the stone which appears to be veneration to Buddha in the local dialect.

The engraving, measuring 1.95m in length and 2.15m in breadth, sees the figure seated on a lotus pedestal with a halo carved behind his head. Continue reading

Saving Buddhist statues: Afghanistan’s big dig

Al Jazeera
Valerie Plesch
June 24, 2014

Ancient statues and other artifacts are buried under Mes Aynak – and so is a $40 billion copper mine

An archeologist in Logar.

An archaeologist in Logar. Shah Marai / AFP / Getty Images

MES AYNAK, Afghanistan — Less than half an hour’s drive from Kabul, the congested and narrow two-lane highway is scarred with craters from improvised explosive devices. Logar province, southeast of Kabul, is considered one of the most dangerous in Afghanistan. It’s near Pakistan’s volatile Waziristan region, where armed militants roam freely across the porous border.

Here, in the midst of vast desert, a massive archaeological dig is taking place under the watchful eye of Afghanistan’s Ministry of Mines and Petroleum (MMP). Mes Aynak (“little copper well” in Dari), which was once a city on the Silk Road, is home to one of Central Asia’s oldest Buddhist artifacts, dating to the time of Alexander the Great. Buddhist statues and sculptures, intricate monastic complexes, stupas and frescoes, pottery, coins, gold jewelry and an ancient copper mine are buried beneath this mountainous 4.8-million-square-foot site. Continue reading

Renowned Afghan Archaeologist Zemaryalai Tarzi Discusses Bamiyan

The Asia Foundation
June 11, 2014

Professor Tarzi with a backdrop of the Bamiyan cliff.

On February 26, leading Afghan archaeologist Zemaryalai Tarzi spoke at The Asia Foundation’s headquarters in San Francisco. Formerly the general director of Archaeology and Preservation of the Historical Monuments of Afghanistan, Professor Tarzi is currently president of the San Rafael, CA-based Association for the Protection of Afghan Archaeology, created by his daughter, Nadia Tarzi, in 2003. Professor Tarzi directed excavations at the foot of the cliff that once housed the statues of Bamiyan. Through his excavation campaigns he unearthed several ancient Buddhist monasteries that date to the 3rd century A.D. In Asiaeditor Alma Freeman sat down with him to learn more.

How did you start your career as one of the main archeologists at Bamiyan?

The first time I saw the Bamiyan valley and the Buddhas was in 1967. From 1960, I was studying archaeology at the Strasbourg University in France under my mentor and teacher, Professor Daniel Schlumberger. Upon my graduation, he asked me into his office and said, “I want you to go to Afghanistan to document and gather information on Bamiyan for your thesis.” Continue reading

Relics dating back to 190 BC unearthed in Pakistan archaeological dig

Express Tribune
Hidayat Khan
June 2, 2014

The excavation site at Koi Tangay Kandaray area in Mian Khan village. PHOTOS COURTESY: AWKUM

A team of archaeologists from Abdul Wali Khan University Mardan (AWKUM) has identified an excavation site in Mian Khan village, Katlang with the aim to put the area on the world’s archaeological map.

During the month-long excavation which began on May 2, a number of relics dating back to 190 BC have been discovered, contributing significantly to the archaeological profile of the district. Continue reading

Maharashtra plans Buddhism spiritual journey

20 June 2014

The Buddhist stupa in Nalasopara from where, as per MTDC’s plan, the spiritual journey will startTushar Mane DNA

The state tourism department has decided to revive 2,600-year-old heritage by turning a Buddhist stupa in Nalasopara as the starting point of a spiritual circuit.

The journey will continue to Chaityabhoomi in Dadar, Pagoda in Gorai and other Buddhist destinations before ending at Dikshabhumi in Nagpur, department officials said. Continue reading

It’s not ‘Buddha’s’ begging bowl

The Hindu
June 8, 2014

The begging bowl in a museum in Afghanistan, which is believed to be that of Buddha's . File photo: Special Arrangement

The begging bowl in a museum in Afghanistan, which is believed to be that of Buddha’s . File photo: Special Arrangement

A begging bowl on display in an Afghanistan museum is not associated with Lord Buddha, Indian officials have concluded belying the initial perception that it belonged to the founder of Buddhism.

The conclusion has been reached after a team of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) officials studied the bowl, sources told PTI here on Sunday.

The bowl has Arabic characters etched on it and cannot be associated with Lord Buddha, they said. Continue reading


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