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Article

The earliest Buddhist shrine: Excavating the birthplace of the Buddha, Lumbini (Nepal)

Citation
Coningham R, Acharya KP, Strickland KM, Davis C, Manuel M, Simpson I, Gilliland K, Tremblay J, Kinnaird TC & Sanderson DCW (2013) The earliest Buddhist shrine: Excavating the birthplace of the Buddha, Lumbini (Nepal). Antiquity, 87 (338), pp. 1104-1123. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0003598X00049899

Abstract
Key locations identified with the lives of important religious founders have often been extensively remodelled in later periods, entraining the destruction of many of the earlier remains. Recent UNESCO-sponsored work at the major Buddhist centre of Lumbini in Nepal has sought to overcome these limitations, providing direct archaeological evidence of the nature of an early Buddhist shrine and a secure chronology. The excavations revealed a sequence of early structures preceding the major rebuilding by Asoka during the third century BC. The sequence of durable brick architecture supplanting non-durable timber was foreseen by British prehistorian Stuart Piggott when he was stationed in India over 70 years ago. Lumbini provides a rare and valuable insight into the structure and character of the earliest Buddhist shrines.

Keywords
Nepal; Lumbini; first millennium BC; Buddha; Asoka; Mauryan Horizon; shrine; temple

Journal
Antiquity: Volume 87, Issue 338

StatusPublished
Author(s)Coningham, Robin; Acharya, Kosh Prasad; Strickland, Keir M; Davis, Christopher; Manuel, Mark; Simpson, Ian; Gilliland, Krista; Tremblay, Jennifer; Kinnaird, Tim C; Sanderson, David C W
FundersUniversity of Durham
Publication date31/12/2013
Date accepted by journal30/04/2013
PublisherAntiquity Publishing
ISSN0003-598X
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