19 April 2024 The Future is the Product of the Past

The earliest Buddha statues in China found in northwestern Shaanxi

The two copper-tin-lead alloy Buddha statues discovered in northwestern Shaanxi Province became the earliest Buddha statues of this kind unearthed in China.

Two alloy Buddha statues and a number of items were excavated from a group of ancient tombs dating to the Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220) in northwest China‘s Shaanxi Province, the Shaanxi Academy of Archaeology said Friday.

The tombs were located in Chengren Village, Xianyang City. Six tombs were excavated in May this year.

The details of the two statues were revealed. One is for Sakyamuni and the other for Five Tathāgatas.

The total height of the Sakyamuni statue is 10.5 centimeters, the diameter of the base it sits on is 4.7 centimeters, and the total height of the Five Tathāgatas is 15.8 centimeters and the width is 6.4 centimeters.

According to archaeologists, the carved figures, which were widely believed to embody religious beliefs, did not appear until the Sixteen Kingdoms Period, dating back 200 years earlier than previous discoveries.

Earliest Buddha statues in China
Two alloy Buddha statues and a number of items were excavated from a group of ancient tombs dating to the Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220) in northwest China’s Shaanxi Province, the Shaanxi Academy of Archaeology said Friday.

Based on preliminary results of the modeling characteristics, manufacturing process analysis, and metal composition detection of the Buddhas, it can be concluded that the two statues are of Gandhara style and made locally, which has important research value for the introduction and Sinicization of Buddhist culture.

The two Buddha statues are both copper-tin-lead alloy according to archaeological analysis, said Li Ming, a researcher with the Shaanxi Academy of Archaeology.

“The findings of the Buddha statues are of great significance to the study of the introduction of Buddhist culture to China and its localization in the country,” Li added.

According to Li Ming, the leader of the archaeological project, the excavation site called Hongduyuan cemetery in the north of Chang’an, now known as Xi’an, as the capital city of ancient China’s Han and Tang dynasties, was the highest grade cemetery in the period apart from the emperor’s mausoleum. Most of those buried in the tombs are found to be royal relatives, senior officials, and dignitaries, all recorded in historical books.

From June 2020 to November 2021, 3,648 ancient tombs, spanning from the Warring States period (475 B.C. – 221 B.C.) to Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), have been excavated by the Shaanxi Academy of Archaeology in Shaanxi’s Xianyang City.

So far, more than 16,000 pieces (sets) of cultural relics have been unearthed, and quite a number of important archaeological findings have been reported.

The excavations are continuing at the site.

Source: Xinhua 

Related Articles

Early humans appreciated geometry and symmetry and were intentionally crafting spherical shapes 1.4 million years ago, according to a new study

7 September 2023

7 September 2023

An examination of 150 round, baseball-sized stones discovered at a site where early humans lived 1.4 million years ago shows...

Love and hate in ancient times: Exploring Magical Texts

6 February 2024

6 February 2024

Love and hate are universal emotions that have persisted throughout human history. Ancient civilizations developed their own distinct methods of...

Botanical Findings Analysis from Biblical area of Goliath sheds Unprecedented Light on Philistine Ritual Practices

27 February 2024

27 February 2024

Bar-Ilan University researchers shed “unprecedented light” on Philistine ritual practices, such as the use of psychoactive and medicinal plants, by...

1,600-year-old Roman-era wine shop unearthed in Greece

29 January 2024

29 January 2024

A team led by Scott Gallimore of Wilfrid Laurier University and Martin Wells of Austin College discovered a 1,600-year-old Roman-era...

Famous Egyptologist Zahi Hawass Wants to See Hieroglyphs as an İntegral Part of The Curriculum

23 February 2021

23 February 2021

The Egyptian council of ministers is discussing the introduction of archaeological and tourist materials in the education curriculum to help...

The famous archaeologist says he will announce the discovery of the mummy of Queen Nefertiti, one of Egyptology’s main riddles, next month

14 September 2022

14 September 2022

On December 9, 2021, Egypt’s archaeological mission, headed by renowned Egyptologist and former Antiquities Minister Zahi Hawass, resumed its search...

A new study reveals the Achaemenid Kingdom paid its workers silver

21 September 2021

21 September 2021

A new study on inscribed clay tablets that were used in the treasury archives of the Achaemenid Empire revealed that...

The Discovery of nobleman Khuwy could rewrite Egypt history

25 October 2021

25 October 2021

The mummified corpse of an ancient Egyptian nobleman named Khuwy, discovered in 2019, showed the ancient Egyptians were carrying out...

New evidence for the use of lions during executions in Roman Britain

9 August 2021

9 August 2021

Archaeologists have discovered an elaborate key as proof that wild animals were employed as execution vehicles in public arena events...

World’s Smallest Stegosaurus Track Found

14 March 2021

14 March 2021

The smallest trace of stegosaurus in the world that lived 155 million years ago was found. Stegosaurus, a herbivorous dinosaur,...

British archaeologists unearth the 1200-year-old man-made island

13 February 2022

13 February 2022

A team holding excavations and archaeological surveys on the historic Al Sayah Island in Muharraq, Bahrain found that it’s ‘man-made’,...

Early Roman Aqueduct Discovered in Turkey’s Aydın Province

27 May 2021

27 May 2021

In the Kuşadasi region of western Turkey’s Aydin, archaeologists and scholars unearthed an approximately 2,000-year-old ancient Roman aqueduct. Experts believe...

Using 3D scanners, archaeologists have identified the person who carved Jelling Stone Runes

29 September 2023

29 September 2023

Researchers at the National Museum of Denmark using 3D scans have identified who carved the Jelling Stone Runes, located in...

A newly Discovered Church in Sudan could be a Cathedral

2 June 2021

2 June 2021

Archaeologists have found the remains of the largest church known from medieval Nubia in old Dongola (Sudan). Dongola was the...

Millennia-Old İron Production Facilities Found in Iran

2 May 2021

2 May 2021

Archaeologists have uncovered many millennia-old iron manufacturing sites in a historical village in southcentral Iran. A local tourism official declared...