Category Archives: Archaeology

Heritage Watch: Efforts lack to secure historical site

ekantipur.com
Posted on: 2014-10-06 09:00

KATHMANDU, OCT 06 – In July last year, archaeologists carried out an excavation at Baluwa area in Gokarna, next to where Lichhavi King Amshu Verma’s sixth century inscription was found in the late seventies. But just over a year later, a three-storey house stands tall on the very spot where the discovery was made.

By the time the Department of Archaeology learnt about the building, the construction was already halfway through. According to Ram Bahadur Kunwar, coordinator of the excavation, the departement’s directive to the Village Development Committee to impose restriction on construction of any structure in the area was not followed.

The house owner, Yangde Sherpa, oblivious to the archaeological value of the land, says she was tricked into buying the property at a higher price by an agent two years ago.

“The Village Development Committee had given me the approval to build my house on the land. I didn’t know what to make of it when I was later told that the land was archaeologically important,” she says. Continue reading

Bagan renews efforts to win World Heritage

Sri Kshetra, one of Pyu ancient cities/Unesco Bangkok

Sri Kshetra, one of Pyu ancient cities/Unesco Bangkok

The Nation

Myanmar Eleven October 7, 2014 7:28 pm

After the listing of Pyu ancient cities, Myanmar launches process for World Heritage nomination of Bagan

Myanmar is kicking off another campaign to reengage with the world and also draw more hard-earned foreign currency, this time involving the ancient city of Bagan.

According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco), the process to nominate Bagan to its World Heritage List will begin with an international consultation meeting in Bagan from October 10-12.

“The ancient archaeological site is at the top of the country’s priority list for future World Heritage nominations. The meeting will bring together experts from around the world to discuss the future safeguarding of Bagan under the World Heritage framework with national and local stakeholders. These inputs will be particularly timely in the face of accelerated development at the site caused by a boom in visitor arrivals and tourism-related investment,” Unesco said in a statement.

Almost every traveller has heard of Bagan, or Pagan, the spectacular 11th to 13th-century ruins of more than 3,000 Buddhist temples and monuments spread over an 80-square-kilometre plain in central Myanmar. Myanmar nominated Bagan to the World Heritage Committee in 1996, but the submission process, which usually takes years, ran into problems with Myanmar’s ruling junta. Continue reading

The Dreamcatchers: Archaeologists strike the spade to unravel Bhamala’s secrets

1) The site at Bhamala Buddhist Archaeological Complex, a Buddhist stupa 25 kilometres from Taxila Museum in Khanpur. (2) An archaeologist at work. (3) Brushing the head of a statue clean. PHOTOS: HIDAYAT KHAN/EXPRESS

1) The site at Bhamala Buddhist Archaeological Complex, a Buddhist stupa 25 kilometres from Taxila Museum in Khanpur. (2) An archaeologist at work. (3) Brushing the head of a statue clean. PHOTOS: HIDAYAT KHAN/EXPRESS

The Express Tribune
By Hidayat Khan / Photo: Hidayat Khan
Published: October 11, 2014

PESHAWAR:
Archaeologists find it difficult to conduct fieldwork in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P). The stakes are high as law and order in the province remains volatile. However, archaeologists have proven these refrains to be more the static stereotypes than an actual obstacle. Recent fieldwork provides welcome proof of this fact.

The Archaeological Research and Conservation Program India and Pakistan (ARCPIP) has completed a two-year field study of the Bhamala Buddhist Archaeological Complex, a Buddhist stupa 25 kilometres from Taxila Museum in Khanpur.

1) The site at Bhamala Buddhist Archaeological Complex, a Buddhist stupa 25 kilometres from Taxila Museum in Khanpur. (2) An archaeologist at work. (3) Brushing the head of a statue clean. PHOTOS: HIDAYAT KHAN/EXPRESS

1) The site at Bhamala Buddhist Archaeological Complex, a Buddhist stupa 25 kilometres from Taxila Museum in Khanpur. (2) An archaeologist at work. (3) Brushing the head of a statue clean. PHOTOS: HIDAYAT KHAN/EXPRESS

In these two years, the ARCPIP team excavated 5% of the site, altogether leaving 60% of it uncovered. Even though only 40% of the Bhamala site is exposed, as stated in a report by Dr Abdul Samad who participated in this study and is the director of archaeology in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, ARCPIP project’s findings will help with current limitations in the understanding of both archaeological and historical aspects of the site.

One of the ARCPIP study’s main aims, stated the report, was to find evidence for a range of periods to start to construct a chronology for the settlement and identify the “broad character of the Buddhist settlement in this remote valley.” And according to both the report and the director who spoke to The Express Tribune, the fieldwork has yielded in evidence to start constructing the said chronology. Continue reading

Roof tiles found in Nara related to 8th-century Buddhist priest from China

Screen Shot 2014-10-12 at 10.02.37 AMAsahi Shimbun
October 10, 2014

By KAZUTO TSUKAMOTO/ Staff Writer
NARA–Archaeologists have unearthed fragments of roof tiles that may have decorated a memorial dedicated to Jianzhen, the tenacious priest from China who helped spread Buddhism in Japan during the eighth century.

The pieces feature wave-like patterns unique to Toshodaiji temple, which Jianzhen founded in 759, the Nara Prefectural Archaeological Institute of Kashihara and the temple said on Oct. 9.

The institute said 65 fragments of roof tiles were found in a dig site within the grounds of Toshodaiji temple between the Kodo Lecture Hall and the former site of the monks’ living quarters called Nishimuro.

“The monks probably set up a small shrine displaying Jianzhen’s portrait inside the living quarters, which they decorated with roof tiles with wave-like patterns in memory of the foreign priest who came across the sea,” said Fuminori Sugaya, director of the institute.

The largest fragment measured 22.5 centimeters long, 17 cm tall and 4.5 cm thick. The tiles, likely produced in the eighth century, were glazed in shades of green, white and brown.

The three hues are used in a ceramic style called Nara Sansai (Nara three colors). This style, which proliferated in the Nara Period (710-784) and Heian Period (794-1185), mimicked the Sancai (three colors) pottery produced in China during the Tang Dynasty (618-907).

Nara Sansai roof tiles were used in important architecture across Nara, including Heijokyo Palace, Todaiji temple and Saidaiji temple. However, these tiles featured spotted patterns resembling deerskin. Continue reading

Main Deity at Pandi Temple is Buddha, Claims Archaeologist

The main deity of Pandi temple in Madurai | Vajiravelu N

The main deity of Pandi temple in Madurai | Vajiravelu N

The New Indian Express
By Gokul Vannan Published: 30th September 2014 06:01 AM

MADURAI: A Madurai-based archaeologist has claimed that the idol of the main deity at the famous Pandi temple near Ilandaikulam was that of Buddha in meditative posture dating back to 10 AD and not Jadai Muniyandi as claimed by a section of subaltern community members.

C Santhalingam, a retired officer of the State Archeological Department, said the the statue of Buddha was a crucial evidence to understand the prevalence of Buddhism in the southern part of Tamil Nadu during 10 AD. Explaining the features, he said, “The Buddha statue found sitting in a padmasana posture with curly hairs at Pandi temple was similar to the sculptures found in other sites in the State.”

Santhalingam said the Madurai district archaeology guide book published by the State government has also recorded the statue found at Pandi temple as that of Lord Buddha.

“The present administrators of the temple have added a mustache to the Buddha statue using some chemicals and also covered the head with a thalappa and claim it as Jadai Muniyandi,” claimed Santhalingam. Continue reading

Kashmir floods damage 2000-year-old Buddhist treasures

Friday, 3 October 2014 – 5:40am IST
Agency: DNA

Iftikhar Gilani

Member of National Monument Authority Salim Beg said not just the Gilgit manuscripts but other significant treasures like paintings, shawls, historic textiles, paper machie and wood carvings have also been damaged.
Besides loss of life and property, the unprecedented floods that swept Kashmir Valley last month, have inflicted heavy damage to cultural and archival treasures representing 2,000 years of heritage of the region. Some of them placed at the historic Sri Pratap Singh (SPS)Museum in Srinagar have been lost forever. Sources told dna the important document, the Gilgit manuscripts, the only surviving testimony to the Bhuddhist classic knowledge has been lost forever. Historians across the world were awaiting the news with bated breath about the fate of these documents, would get the fateful news that the document has been declared as 100% damaged with no chances of recovery.

Apprehending that tribal raiders may damage these documents in 1947, India’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru had prevailed upon then government in Jammu and Kashmir to shift them to National Archives in Delhi. Continue reading

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