Feeds

HIDDEN SHRINE from 500 BC found, may crack Buddha's birthday riddle

Daylight highlights Enlightened One's childbed site

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

A team of archeologists have dug up the oldest Buddhist shrine in the world, literally shedding light on the birthplace of Buddha.

The boffins found the 6th Century BC timber structure buried within the Maya Devi Temple in Lumbini, Nepal. Buddhists still make pilgrimages to Lumbini, where it's believed Buddha was born, although the actual date of his birth has been the topic of endless discussion over the years – so perhaps this discovery will clear that up.

This wooden structure once held tree roots, providing a clear link to the story that claims Buddha's mum gave birth to him while holding a branch.

"Now, for the first time, we have an archaeological sequence at Lumbini that shows a building there as early as the 6th century BC," said archaeologist Prof Robin Coningham of Durham University, who led the dig.

"This is the earliest evidence of a Buddhist shrine anywhere in the world.

"It sheds light on a very long debate, which has led to differences in teachings and traditions of Buddhism.

"The narrative of Lumbini's establishment as a pilgrimage site under Ashokan patronage must be modified since it is clear that the site had already undergone embellishment for centuries."

The team began their excavation at the heart of the temple in Lumbini, unearthing a roofless wooden structure. Brick temples which were built later appeared to be centred around this mysterious building.

They used radiocarbon dating techniques as well as optically stimulated luminescence to gauge its age.

Ram Kumar Shrestha, Nepal's minister of culture, told the BBC that the discovery would help conservation at the temple, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

"These discoveries are very important to better understand the birthplace of the Buddha," he said.

"The government of Nepal will spare no effort to preserve this significant site."

A paper on the dig was published in the journal Antiquity. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
MEN: For pity's sake SLEEP with LOTS of WOMEN - and avoid Prostate Cancer
And, um, don't sleep with other men. If that's what worries you
Voyager 1 now EIGHTEEN LIGHT HOURS from home
Almost 20 BEEELION kilometres from Sol
HUGE SHARK as big as a WWII SUBMARINE died out, allowing whales to exist
Who'd win a fight: Megalodon or a German battleship?
Jim Beam me up, Scotty! WHISKY from SPAAACE returns to Earth
They're insured for $1m, before you thirsty folks make plans
ROGUE SAIL BOAT blocks SPACE STATION PODULE blastoff
Er, we think our ISS launch beats your fishing expedition
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
BAE points electromagnetic projectile at US Army
Railguns for 'Future fighting vehicle'
OK Google, do I have CANCER?
Company talks up pill that would spot developing tumors
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Mitigating web security risk with SSL certificates
Web-based systems are essential tools for running business processes and delivering services to customers.