Friday, 21 July 2017

Eastern Roman gold coins found in 1,500-year-old Chinese tomb

Two Eastern Roman gold coins were found in a 1,500-year-old Chinese tomb in Xian, Shaanxi Province.Two Eastern Roman gold coins were found in a 1,500-year-old Chinese tomb in Xian, Shaanxi Province. (Photo: China News Service)
Two Eastern Roman gold coins were found in a 1,500-year-old Chinese tomb in Northwest China's Xian City, the Shaanxi Provincial Institute of Archaeology (SPIA) said on Thursday.
Chinese archaeologists believe that one of the gold coins was minted during the reign of Anastasius I who was the Eastern Roman Emperor from 491 to 518.
The other gold coin however is a more rare one and bears stylistic similarities to coins minted during the reigns of both Anastasius I and Justinian I, who ruled the Byzantine Empire from 527 to 565.
The Chinese tomb also included a silver coin minted during reign of  Peroz I, who was the king of the Sasanian Empire between 459 and 484.
“The discovery of Eastern Roman gold coins and the Sasanian silver coin proves the long history of international trade on the Silk Road,” said Xu Weihong, a researcher at SPIA.
According to the inscription on the memorial tablet, the tomb belonged to Lu Chou who died in 538. Lu was a nobility in the Western Wei Dynasty (535-557).

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

China unearths millennia-old Silk Road mummy, still in "good shape"

Xinhua 30 June 2017


XINING -- The mummified remains of a middle-aged man, believed to have walked the earth about 1,700 years ago, has been unearthed on a less frequented section of the ancient Silk Road on the edge of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. 
The body was found at a construction site in the northwestern town of Mang'ai in Qinghai Province. It is being cared for by Haixi Prefectural Museum of Ethnology. 
"It is in good shape, perhaps the oldest and the best preserved mummy discovered on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau," said Xin Feng, director of the museum. 
The body measures 1.62 meters, and features perfectly preserved skin and hair remnants. The man was believed to be in his 40s when he died. His face looks calm and hands are crossed above the abdomen. 
Archaeologists will use DNA tests to find out the man's ethnicity and identity, said Xin Feng. The mummy was found amid dried reeds, dyed cloth mats, a horse's hoof, and sheep bones -- thought to be funeral objects for the upper class of the time. 
Mummies are usually formed in very dry environments which prevent bodies from decaying. The area where the body was found is on the northern edge of the plateau close to Taklamakan Desert. 
It was on a less traveled off-shoot route of the ancient Silk Road. Traders took this route to avoid conflict on the Hexi Corridor, a much better known thoroughfare. 
Mummified bodies have been found along the ancient Silk Road inside China as it crosses a wide stretch of arid land in present-day's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region. Some were Caucasian, a testimony to the ancient Silk Road's heyday as a global trade route.





Wednesday, 12 July 2017

SOAS awarded £5million gift to create world-leading Institute of Zoroastrian Studies

SOAS London   11 July 2017
SOAS University of London has secured a £5 million donation to create the world-leading SOAS Shapoorji Pallonji Institute of Zoroastrian Studies.
The donation will enable the creation of the SOAS Shapoorji Pallonji Institute of Zoroastrian Studies, a resource dedicated to enhancing the research, learning and teaching in the field of one of the world’s oldest religions. The institute will be co-chaired by Dr Sarah Stewart, Lecturer in Zoroastrianism, and Professor Almut Hintze FBA, Zartoshty Brothers Professor of Zoroastrianism. The donation will secure a long-term endowment for the Shapoorji Pallonji Lectureship in Zoroastrian Studies at SOAS in the Department of the Study of Religion, which will be held by Dr Stewart.
Three Magi in Parthian dress.
Three Magi in Parthian dress, exhibited at The Everlasting Flame: Zoroastrianism in History and Imagination, London 2013, Delhi 2016
SOAS has secured a commitment of £5 million over three years which will also see the creation of Shapoorji Pallonji Scholarships in Zoroastrian Studies as well as enabling a wide range of public engagement.
Baroness Valerie Amos CH, Director of SOAS, said: ‘Based in London, the home of the oldest Zoroastrian diaspora community outside India and Iran, SOAS is the perfect place to be home to an Institute of Zoroastrianism. Zoroastrianism has been studied at SOAS for nearly 90 years and through this donation we will be able to enhance our research and teaching in Zoroastrian studies and strengthen our relationship with the Zoroastrian Community.’
Mr Shapoor Mistry, Chairman, Shapoorji Pallonji Group, said: ‘Through the creation of the Institute, Lectureship and Scholarships, this donation will ensure that SOAS continues to develop as the world’s leading centre of Zoroastrian Studies, advancing in perpetuity the understanding and appreciation of this ancient religion and its history, culture, languages and peoples.’
Zoroastrianism has been studied at SOAS since 1929 thanks to the Parsi Community’s lectureship, which was held by Sir Harold Walter Bailey and Walter Bruno Henning. Renowned scholar Professor Mary Boyce taught Zoroastrianism from 1947 until 1982. Many other distinguished scholars of Zoroastrianism and Iranian Studies have taught at SOAS, including Professor John Hinnells, Professor A D H Bivar, Professor Philip Kreyenbroek and Professor Nicholas Sims-Williams. SOAS also produced a major international exhibition exploring the cultural history of Zoroastrianism, The Everlasting Flame: Zoroastrianism in history and imagination, which was exhibited in SOAS’s Brunei Gallery in 2013 and in the National Museum in Delhi in 2016.

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Exhibited relics in Hangzhou point to rich Silk Road history

Source: Shanghai Daily  July 3, 2017

EVER since President Xi Jinping proposed the Silk Road Eco­nomic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road initiatives, also known as “One Belt, One Road,” in September 2013, China and countries along the ancient routes have launched a series of cooperative projects.
Belt and Road aims to revive the eco­nomic ties and connectivity in Eurasia. In return, many cities have held exhi­bitions that showcase the history of the Silk Road.
Hangzhou is no exception.
An exhibition that displays relics excavated along the Silk Road is un­derway at China National Silk Museum and will run until September 24. The items on display are from museums in Shaanxi, Qinghai, Gansu and Xin­jiang Uygur Autonomous Region and Kazakhstan.
In 2014, the UNESCO listed “Silk Road — the Routes Network of Chang’an-Tianshan Corridor” as world’s heritage site. This 5,000-kilometer section stretches from Chang’an (present-day Xi’an) in Shaanxi Province to the Zhe­tysu region in Central Asia.
It took shape between the 2nd century BC and 1st century AD, and remained in use until the 16th centu­ry. It linked multiple civilizations and remained a platform for exchanges in trade, religions, technology, cultures and arts.
Along the route, relics of empires and kingdoms, ancient temples, pago­das, antique buildings and tombs were discovered that reflected on the glory days of Silk Road.
Now, some of the archeological discoveries are on display at the ex­hibition, which is divided into three parts and according to different peri­ods and regions. Most of the exhibits came into being between the 5th cen­tury BC and 8th century AD.
The origin of Silk Road was Tian­shan corridor, which was a prairie road that connected Oriental country and ancient civilizations including Persia, Greek and Assyria during the 10th century and 3rd century BC.
Sarmatians were nomadic people that dominated the southern Russian grassland dating back to 2,200 years. A batch of costumes, accessories, glass vessels and other burial objects were excavated from a Sarmatian tomb in Kazakhstan. The finely weaved cos­tumes showcased the tomb owner was a woman of high social status.
The replica of Golden Warrior un­earthed from Kazakhstan’s Issyk burial mound is one of the highlights. He was dressed in an arrow-shaped headdress and chain-mail armor richly decorated with foils. His belt and weapons were of pure gold. The costume consisted of 4,000 gold ornaments in typical Sacae style. The young warrior’s ornamented funeral armor is priceless.
This section also displays antiqued wagons from ancient Rong people’s tombs in Gansu Province. During Warring States Period (475-221BC), the manufacturing level of wagons epitomized the then mechanical tech­nology. The buried wagons symbolized people’s social status.
The road began to flourish when long distance trade of high-valued products, particularly silk, tea and porcelains, began to expand between Chinese and Western empires. The second and third sections display artifacts from Qin (221-206 BC), Han (206 BC-AD 220) and Tang (AD 618-907) along the road.
Ever since Qin Dynasty came into being, the original steppe road began to be an official route linking Ori­ental China and Western countries. Starting from Xi’an, the capital of Han and Tang dynasties, the route passed westwards through the Hexi Corridor across the Qilian Mountain Range to Dunhuang, and then continued along the northern and southern flanks of Tianshan Mountain Range until reach­ing Zhetysu region of Central Asia.
The exhibition also displays a restored terracotta warrior using modern technology. Visitors can see the original appearance of the soldier through the exhibit.
Terracotta army was a form of funerary art that was buried with Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of Qin Dynasty. The soldiers and horses were placed to protect the emperor in his afterlife.
Originally, the figures were painted with bright pigments, variously col­ored pink, red, green, blue, black, brown, white and lilac. The colorful lacquer finish and individual facial features would have given the figures a realistic feel. However, much of the color coating had flaked off or badly faded.
The Silk Road within China was mainly in Gansu Province and Xinji­ang Uygur Autonomous Region, where a large number of silk relics have been excavated.
Dunhuang of Gansu Province was an ancient transportation hub along the Silk Road. At the exhibition, a Mogao Grotto painting repaired through digital technology is characterized by diverse floral patterns in red, yellow and green.
The highlight of the section was the burial objects from Xinjiang’s Panying relic, a prosperous hub along the Silk Road that later vanished. The exhibi­tion displays delicate textile artifacts featuring exotic and central Chinese styles, which proved it was a commu­nication center of the silk route during Han and Jin (AD 265-420) dynasties.
Date: Through September 24, closed on Mondays
Address: 73-1 Yuhuangshan Rd
Admission: Free

Saturday, 8 July 2017

Unique opportunities in Vienna: Wanted 2 University Assistants in Art history of East Asia



Two full positions as University Assistant (prae doc) in in Art History of East Asia

Reference number: 7752

The Department of History of Art at the University of Vienna is the biggest Center for Research and education in the visual arts in Austria. It focuses on the visual arts in Europe, Asia, and the Islamic World. Currently there are 2000 students.

The Department of Art History is inviting applications for two full positions as University Assistant (prae doc) specialising in East Asian Art History starting 1 September 2017.

Duration of employment: 4 year/s

Extent of Employment: 30 hours/week
Job grading in accordance with collective bargaining agreement: §48 VwGr. B1 Grundstufe (praedoc) with relevant work experience determining the assignment to a particular salary grade.

Job Description:
The tasks involve support in teaching and research of the Chair in Asian Art History (Prof. Dr. Lukas Nickel), building a research library and database, participation in the preparation of conferences, participation in the administration of the institute, and independent teaching (2 hours per week per semester). The completion of a PhD thesis in the field of East Asian art history is expected.

Profile:

Master degree in Art History or East Asian Studies (or equivalent), excellent language skills in English and one East Asian language (Chinese, Japanese or Korean), experience in library maintenance, team skills
Research fields:
Main research fieldSpecial research fieldsImportance
ArtsArt historyMUST
Education:
Educational institutionEducational levelSpecial subject Importance
UniversityHumanities -MUST
Languages::
LanguageLanguage levelImportance
EnglishExcellent knowledgeMUST
Applications including a letter of motivation (German or English) should be submitted via the Job Center to the University of Vienna (http://jobcenter.univie.ac.at) no later than 26.07.2017, mentioning reference number 7752.

For further information please contact Binder, Alexandra +43-1-4277-41413.

The University pursues a non-discriminatory employment policy and values equal opportunities, as well as diversity (http://diversity.univie.ac.at/). 
The University lays special emphasis on increasing the number of women in senior and in academic positions. Given equal qualifications, preference will be given to female applicants.

Human Resources and Gender Equality of the University of Vienna
Reference number: 7752
E-Mail: jobcenter@univie.ac.at

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Zheng He’s Maritime Voyages (1405-1433) and China’s Relations with the Indian Ocean World

Edited and annotated by Ying Liu, University of Victoria, Zhongping Chen, University of Victoria, Gregory Blue, University of Victoria

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

New Discovery in Xinjiang: Sun-worshippers built this massive altar 3.000 years ago


National Geographic
In a remote corner of northwest China, a recently excavated 3,000-year-old sun altar offers clues to how the region's tribal cultures practiced religion thousands of years ago.
The ruins were discovered in 1993, in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, but were not excavated until last year. Archaeologists can now confirm their initial suspicions that the site was used as a sun altar during the Bronze Age.
Nomads once dominated this grassland region, which sits in between Kazakhstan and Mongolia. While similar sun altars had been previously found in the east, the complex in Xinjiang is unique to the region.
The altar itself is comprised of three layered circles of stone. The outer diameter of the largest circle is just over 328 feet long, and archaeologists believe this suggests people and horses would have been used to haul the stones from miles away.
Archaeologists believe the find is significant because it suggests a strong cultural link between nomadic regions and ancient Chinese ruling dynasties.
"This proves that central plain culture had already long reached the foot of Mount Tianshan, in the Bayanbulak Grassland, the choke point of the Silk Road," said Liu Chuanming, one of the archaeologists studying the ruins, in CCTV video.
The Silk Road rose to prominence roughly 100 years before the first century during China's Han Dynasty, when it was established by Chinese diplomat Zhang Quian. The road, which lasted until the 15th century, famously spread trade, economy, and culture.
Sun worship was a common practice among many cultures that existed during this period.
"Since ancient times all civilizations on the continent of Eurasia used circle shapes to represent the sun. Mongolian yurts have the same structure as the altar," archaeologist Wu Xinhua commented in the video.
The video shows the inside of a traditional Mongolian yurt. Wu explained that the ceiling's three tresses represent sky, light, and sun worship.
He also noted the similarities to the Temple of Heaven in Beijing, which is characterized by layered, circular floors. The Beijing temple is now regarded as belonging to the Taoist religion, however the time in which it was constructed suggests it was originally used for pre-Taoist heaven and sun worship.
Heaven worship is considered one of China's oldest forms of religion, and mounds were frequently used for elaborate ceremonies and non-human sacrifices. The exact purpose of the sun altar in Xinjiang, however, has yet to be identified. Sun worship was also common among civilizations in Africa and Indo-European regions.
Archaeologists will continue excavating the sun altar in Xinjiang in an effort to uncover more history of the ancient Silk Road.

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Conference: "The History and Culture of Iran and Central Asia in the First Millennium CE: From the Pre-Islamic to the Islamic Era"

Sunday, June 25, 2017 All Day

Location: 1 Suffolk Street, London SW1Y 4HG


History and Culture of Iran Conference Poster

London Global Gateway
June 25-27, 2017

This conference is jointly sponsored by the Medieval Institute of the University of Notre Dame, the Notre Dame Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts, and the Kyoto University Institute for Research in Humanities and Graduate School of Letters.

If you are interested in attending, please contact Deborah Tor at dtor@nd.edu.
 

The full conference 

program is now available.
 

Conference participants include:
  • Arezou Azad (University of Birmingham)
  • Michael Bates (American Numismatic Society)
  • Matteo Compareti (Renmin University of China)
  • Francois de Blois (University College London)
  • Etienne de la Vaissiere (École des hautes études en sciences sociales)
  • Dilnoza Duturaeva (National University of Uzbekistan)
  • Robert Gleave (University of Exeter)
  • Frantz Grenet (Collège de France)
  • Minoru Inaba (Kyoto University)
  • Etsuko Kageyama (Nara National Research Institute for Cultural Properties)
  • Hugh Kennedy (School of Oriental and African Studies, the University of London)
  • Deborah Klimburg-Salter (University of Vienna)
  • Judith Lerner (Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, New York University)
  • Pavel Lurje (The State Hermitage Museum, Russia)
  • George Malagaris (University of Oxford)
  • Louise Marlow (Wellesley College)
  • Rocco Rante (The Louvre)
  • Florian Schwarz (Austrian Academy of Sciences and University of Vienna)
  • Dan Sheffield (Princeton University)
  • Michael Shenkar (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem)
  • Nicholas Sims-Williams (School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London)
  • D.G. Tor (University of Notre Dame)
  • Luke Treadwell (University of Oxford)
  • Gabrielle van den Berg (Leiden University)
  • Yutaka Yoshida (Kyoto University)

For further information, please contact Professor Deborah Tor at dtor@nd.edu.

Monday, 26 June 2017

Gandhara relics to be exhibited in Seoul


Published: June 24, 2017
PHOTO: REUTERS
PHOTO: REUTERS 
PESHAWAR: Forty artifacts belonging to the Gandhara civilisation will be exported to Seoul, South Korea to be displayed at a three-month long exhibition titled ‘Gandhara through international cooperation’.
The federal department of archaeology and museum has issued license to President of Inter Art Channel Yang Soo Kim and Director Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Directorate of Archaeology and Museums Dr Abdul Samad, for temporary export of the Gandhara civilisation relics to Seoul for exhibition.
The exhibition, which will begin on June 29 and will continue till September 30, will only feature the relics of Peshawar museum which are currently on display at the museum.
According to the officials of K-P directorate of archaeology and museums, the exhibition will help attract international tourists by showcasing the rich archaeological treasure trove of K-P.
“It will promote tourism and archeological site of the province,” said Asif Raza, the curator of Peshawar museum.
Raza said that delegations from 50 countries will participate in the inauguration ceremony of the exhibition in Seoul where different aspects of Gandhara civilization will be discussed. He added that the exhibition will also help in attracting donations for further archaeological excavations and for the preservation of archaeological sites.
An agreement was signed between the government of Pakistan and Inter Art Channel President Yang Soo Kim last year to exhibit the rich Buddhist archaeological treasure with an aim to create awareness about the life of Buddha and attract tourists to the archaeological sites of Pakistan.
Under the agreement, the government of Pakistan had agreed to provide the artifacts of Gandhara civilization for the exhibition.
A copy of license available with The Express Tribune issued under Pakistan Antiquates Act 1975 states that the transportation of these relics, from Pakistan to Seoul, will be made under the clause (a) of sub rule (1) of rule 3 of Exports of Antiquities Rule 1997.
Raza said that the K-P has some of the most magnificent archaeological sites most of which belong to the Gandhara civilization. He said that the province can earn huge revenue if international tourism to these sites is increased.
The relics which will be transported to Korea also include some 25 relics based on the life of Buddha. They also include the Kanishka casket or Kanishka reliquary, dating back to the first year of the reign of Kushan emperor Kanishka. This relic was found in 1992 in the relic chamber of the great stupa at Shah-Ji-ki Dheri in Peshawar.

Friday, 16 June 2017

More news about the Shigir Idol (from the Ural Mountains)

Beaver's teeth 'used to carve the oldest wooden statue in the world'

Dating back 11,000 years - with a coded message left by ancient man from the Mesolithic Age - the Shigir Idol is almost three times as old as the Egyptian pyramids.
Two years ago German scientists dated the Idol as being 11,000 years old. Picture: The Siberian Times
New scientific findings suggest that images and hieroglyphics on the wooden statue were carved with the jaw of a beaver, its teeth intact.
Originally dug out of a peat bog by gold miners in the Ural Mountains in 1890, the remarkable seven-faced Idol is now on display in a glass sarcophagus in a museum in Yekaterinburg.
Two years ago German scientists dated the Idol as being 11,000 years old.
At a conference involving international experts held in the city this week, Professor Mikhail Zhilin said the wooden statue, originally 5.3 metres tall, was made of larch, with  the basement and head carved using silicon faceted tools. 
'The surface was polished with a fine-grained abrasive, after which the ornament was carved with a chisel,' said the expert. 
'At least three were used, and they had different blade widths.
The faces were 'the last to be carved because apart from chisels,  some very interesting tools - made of halves of beaver lower jaws - were used'.
He said: 'Beavers are created to carve trees. If you sharpen a beaver's cutter teeth, you will get an excellent tool that is very convenient for carving concave surfaces.' 
Beaver's teeth 'used to carve the oldest wooden statue in the world'
Beaver's teeth 'used to carve the oldest wooden statue in the world'

Beaver's teeth 'used to carve the oldest wooden statue in the world'
'This is a masterpiece, carrying gigantic emotional value and force'. Pictures: The Siberian Times, Svetlana Savchenko

The professor has found such a 'tool' made from beaver jaw at another archeological site - Beregovaya 2, dating to the same period. 
Studying the Idol, he believed the tool is consistent with its markings, 'for example when making holes more circular', said Svetlana Panina, head of the archaeology department at Sverdlovsk Regional Local History Museum.
The idol was put on a stone basement, not dug in the ground, said Zhilin. 
It stood like this for around 50 years before falling into a pond, and was later covered in turf.
The peat preserved it as if in a time capsule. 
Beaver's teeth 'used to carve the oldest wooden statue in the world'

Beaver's teeth 'used to carve the oldest wooden statue in the world'

Beaver's teeth 'used to carve the oldest wooden statue in the world'

Beaver's teeth 'used to carve the oldest wooden statue in the world'
It is a unique sculpture, there is nothing else in the world like this. Pictures: The Siberian Times

Zhilin, leading researcher of the Russian Academy of Sciences' Institute of Archeology, has spoken previously of his 'feeling of awe' when studying the Idol, more than twice as old as the Stonehenge monuments in England.
'This is a masterpiece, carrying gigantic emotional value and force,' he said.
'It is a unique sculpture, there is nothing else in the world like this.  It is very alive, and very complicated at the same time. 
'The ornament is covered with nothing but encrypted information. People were passing on knowledge with the help of the Idol.'
Only one of the seven faces is three dimensional. 
While the messages remain 'an utter mystery to modern man', it was clear that its creators 'lived in total harmony with the world, had advanced intellectual development, and a complicated spiritual world', he said.

The Shigir Idol is almost three times as old as the Egyptian pyramids. Pictures: The Siberian Times
Beaver's teeth 'used to carve the oldest wooden statue in the world'

Beaver's teeth 'used to carve the oldest wooden statue in the world'

Beaver's teeth 'used to carve the oldest wooden statue in the world'

Beaver's teeth 'used to carve the oldest wooden statue in the world'

Beaver's teeth 'used to carve the oldest wooden statue in the world'



Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Famous Buddhist Fugan Temple in Chengdu rediscovered

Remains of the famous Fugan Temple that was recently discovered in Chengdu, China.


Buried for Almost a Millennium, Archaeologists Recover Over 1,500 Religious Artifacts at Lost Chinese Temple


A team of archaeologists has uncovered more than 1000 tablets inscribed with Buddhist scriptures and over 500 pieces of stone sculpture, as well as glazed tiles with inscriptions, at the site of a temple that had disappeared almost a millennium ago in China.


The “Divine” Role of Fugan Temple


A team of archaeologists has spent several months excavating a temple that was lost for almost a millennium in southwest China's Sichuan Province, as China.org.cn reports.
The Fugan Temple, located in downtown Chengdu, was a famous temple that lasted from the Eastern Jin Dynasty (317- 420 AD) to the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279 AD). The temple is mentioned by Daoxuan, a famous Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD) monk, who recorded that an official religious ceremony was once held in front of the temple for the civilians to pray for rain to end a persistent drought. Interestingly, after the rite was over it rained heavily, a fact that elevated the temple’s prestige in the eyes of thousands of believers.
Because of this miraculous incident, the temple got its name “Fugan”, which means "perceive the blessing." Furthermore, a popular Tang Dynasty poet named Liu Yuxi left a poem to honor and celebrate the temple's renovation, describing its divine character and its important role during that period.
Workers inside an unearthed ditch at the excavation site of the Fugan Temple, Chengdu, China.
Workers inside an unearthed ditch at the excavation site of the Fugan Temple, Chengdu, China. (XINHUA)

The Temple is Rediscovered


Despite its undeniable glory and significance for the local population, the temple suffered a lot of damage during the later period of the Tang and Song dynasties, especially after the Song emperors began to experience fiscal difficulties. For example, the population’s growth in China had outdistanced economic growth, while military expenses associated with northern border wars had drained China economically, as did the cost of an ever-increasing governmental bureaucracy.
The bureaucracy, moreover, was torn by factions proposing different measures regarding tax reform and land distribution. These reforms failed, as they had during the Han dynasty, and for the same reason: opposition from the largely Confucianist gentry, who put their individual economic interests ahead of the common good. Eventually, the temple became the ultimate victim of that situation and disappeared during the many wars that took place.
Almost a millennium later though, a team of archaeologists excavating the area where the legendary temple was “hiding” all these centuries, uncovered more than 1000 tablets inscribed with Buddhist scriptures and over 500 pieces of stone sculpture as well as glazed tiles with inscriptions. "We have only excavated a part of the temple's area, but already have a glimpse of its past glory," Yi Li, lead director of the excavation project, told the media; while adding that his team has also discovered the temple's foundation, ruins of surrounding buildings, wells, roads, and ditches.

A stone Bodhisattva head unearthed at the excavation site of the Fugan Temple in Chengdu, China
A stone Bodhisattva head unearthed at the excavation site of the Fugan Temple in Chengdu, China. (news.cn)


More than 80 Ancient Tombs Found Near the Temple 


Interestingly, during the excavation archaeologists found around 80 ancient tombs dispersed near the temple, dating back to the Shang and Zhou dynasties (1600-256 BC). Additionally, they also unearthed large amounts of household tools, utensils, and building materials dating back to different periods from the Song to Ming dynasties.
Experts and archaeologists are optimistic and suggest that the temple's discovery could significantly contribute to the examination of the spread of Buddhism in China during that time, as Wang Yi, director of the Chengdu Cultural Relic Research Institute told China.org.cn
More than 1,000 tablets inscribed with Buddhist scriptures were found at the site of the famous Fugan temple in Chengdu, China
More than 1,000 tablets inscribed with Buddhist scriptures were found at the site of the famous Fugan temple in Chengdu, China. (Western China Metropolis Daily)
Top Image: Remains of the famous Fugan Temple that was recently discovered in Chengdu, China. (XINHUA) Insert: A stone Bodhisattva head unearthed at the excavation site. (news.cn)