National Geographic wrote:Outside scholars applauded the discovery but cautioned against too hastily accepting the site as the oldest discovered Buddhist shrine without more analysis.
"Archaeologists love claiming that they have found the earliest or the oldest of something," says archaeologist Ruth Young of the United Kingdom's University of Leicester in an email message.
The exact date of the Buddha's birth is disputed, with Nepalese authorities favoring 623 B.C., and other traditions favoring more recent dates, around 400 B.C.
Regardless, by 249 B.C. Lumbini had became one of the four sacred centers of Buddhism, marked by sanctifying inscriptions and a pillar left there in 249 B.C. by the Indian emperor Ashoka, who helped spread Buddhism across Asia.
Later abandoned, the site was rediscovered in 1896 and re-established as a worship center, the Maya Devi temple, which is now a World Heritage site.
chownah wrote:I am concerned that some people might misinterpret the meaning of "push back the buddha's birthdate".
I would like to make it clear that this discovery does not change the date upon which the Buddha was born......the Buddha was born on one particular day and no amount of scientific discovery will change that. It would be more accurate if the article had said that the new discovery may push back the estimate of the buddha's birthdate.......no one knows the buddha's birthday and scientists are trying to estimate when it was......so the discovery they just made indicates that their previous estimate should perhaps be moved back.
sphairos wrote:Hello everyone,
famous Buddhologist and Tibetologist M. Kapstein wrote at some Buddhist scholars' mailing list:
An interesting article in today's New York Times discusses recent finds at Lumbini.
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/26/scien ... birth.html
It references an article in the current issue of the journal Antiquity that I have
not yet seen, and so I cannot say whether the NYT summary is fully accurate.
A few problems to note:
The date of Asoka, of course, is not at all taken as the date of the Buddha. Even the
'short chronology' would place the Buddha's passing a century or so earlier.
It is not at all clear to me why the discovery of a sixth century BCE structure at Lumbini
thought to be a "shrine" warrants the assumption that it is a Buddhist shrine.
In any case, I look forward to hearing what specialists in early Indian Buddhism might
have to say.
Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes"
"The tree roots appear to have been fertilized, and although bodhigara are found in older Indian traditions, the shrine lacked the signs of sacrifices or offerings found at such sites."
"It was very clean, in fact, which points to the Buddhist tradition of nonviolence and nonofferings," says Coningham.
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news ... n-history/
chownah wrote:If the tree roots appear to have been fertilized perhaps the structure was a lavatory......
I have now organized a panel by the title "Authenticity, Uncertainty,
and Deceit in Buddhist Art and Archaeology" at the IABS 2014 in Vienna
- to which everyone interested in such methodological questions is
Dr. Achim Bayer
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