Nepal archaeologists find Buddha artifacts

20th May 2013

Archaeologists in Nepal have found relics dating from the Buddha era at an excavation site at Bhawanipur in Devdaha, Rupandehi district, 20km from Buddha's birthplace in the sacred area of Lumbini.

Nepal's Department of Archeology (DoA) began excavation in the Devdaha area two years ago after archeological evidence pointed to it being the maternal home of the Buddha.

The excavation at Bhawanipur started three weeks ago. Walls, bricks, silver and wooden bracelets, clay utensils, butter lamps and stones were found at the site, among other artifacts.

DoA officer Prakash Darnal said the discovery of relics like a bust of the Buddha, a well and the ruins of the Siddhartha palace will help confirm the area's link to the Buddha.

"Additional study and excavation are necessary to find which part of the area is the maternal home of Gautam Buddha," he said.

Damal added that of the 14 areas related to the Buddha, they had so far only investigated parts of Kanyamai, Bhawanipur and Panditpur.

"We have found remains dating back to 10th, 11th and 12th centuries," he said.

The Buddha was born in 623 BC, proven by an inscription on the Asoka Pillar put up by the Mauryan Emperor Asoka 374 years later.

While Lumbini is a World Heritage Site and is therefore protected, areas near the Buddha's birthplace remain untouched and unprotected.

The items found in Devhaha have been sent to the DoA for further inspection before they are returned through the Lumbini Development Trust, according to an official.

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