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Nepal’s archaeologists discover Buddha relics during excavation
Publication Date : 17-05-2013
Nepal’s archaeologists have discovered artifacts dating from the Buddha era from an excavation site at Devdaha of Rupandehi district, which is located at a distance of 20km from Buddha’s birthplace Lumbini in western Nepal.
A team of Nepal’s Department of Archeology (DoA) started excavation at the Devdaha area some two years ago after archeological evidences suggested that it was the maternal home of the Buddha.
The excavation at Bhawanipur began three weeks back. Walls, bricks, silver and wooden bracelets, clay utensils, butter lamps and stones are among the things discovered.
Prakash Darnal, officer at the archeological department, said that findings of relics such as a bust of the Buddha, a well and the ruins of the Siddhartha palace will help prove the area's relation with the Buddha.
"Additional study and excavation are necessary to find which part of the area is the maternal home of Gautam Buddha," he said.
Out of the 14 Buddha-related areas, he said, some parts only of Kanyamai, Bhawanipur and Panditpur were unearthed so far. "We have found remains dating back to 10th, 11th and 12th centuries," he said.
The Buddha was born in 623 BC in the sacred area of Lumbini, testified by the inscription on the Asoka Pillar erected by the Mauryan Emperor Asoka in 249 BC.
Though Lumbini proper is protected as the UNESCO World Heritage Site and as one of the holiest places of one of the world's great religions, areas around the Buddha’s birthplace remain unexplored and unprotected despite high archeological and religious importance.
The items discovered form Devhaha are said to have been sent to the department for study. They will later be returned through the Lumbini Development Trust (LDT), an official said.
Himal Upreti, archeology officer at the LDT, said consultations on whether the discovered antiques will be displayed in the Lumbini International Museum or kept at Devdaha will be held with the local people.
Meanwhile, locals complained that the excavation site is being encroached upon and the discovered items are being stolen due to the failure of the LDT to protect the site. The LDT has only fenced the site with barbed wires.