08 March 2014
MANDALAY—Sixteen ancient Buddha images from the early Konbaung dynasty era have been excavated at the old Armenian cemetery site inside the Linzin cemetery in Amarapura of Mandalay Region.
The images were found on March 5 and 6 while clearing the surroundings of the Tawagu Pagoda on the site of the old cemetery. A statue of a Nat (spirit) was also found together with the Buddha images.
According to Myanmar traditional architect Win Maung (Tampawaddy), the cemetery site was once known as Hteepaung Ayat during the early Kongbaung dynasty era, which was inhabited by Innwa residents.
“The ancient Buddha images were found while clearing the surroundings of the Tawagu Pagoda at the site of the old Armenian cemetery,” said Win Maung (Tampawaddy), a Myanmar traditional architect. “The handiworks of the Buddha images are from early Konbaung dynasty era. It’s before the Amarapura era.”
“Sixteen Buddha images have been found now. As these images have been enshrined inside a pagoda, there should be a total of 28 images. The Thidagu Sayadaw has instructed us to maintain the area where they were found as there are historical religious buildings,” said Win Maung (Tampawaddy).
Local historians and residents have criticised the construction of an archeological park in Linzin cemetery by the Mandalay City Development Committee for damaging ancient religious buildings from the Innwa and Amarapura eras located inside the cemetery.
Local residents say that they have informed the Department of Archaeology, National Museum and Library about the damages of the ancient buildings but they still have not come to inspect the site.
Last week, officials from the Thai Ministry of Culture visited the excavation site of the Siamese King Uthumphon’s tomb to survey the historical evidences and cultures of the Thai people who lived near Mandalay when they were taken as prisoners of war along with the king after their capital Ayutthaya was conquered in 1767.