Title: Buddha’s Birth Earlier Than Thought
WORLD’S EARLIEST BUDDHIST STRUCTURE UNCOVERED
Time to push back the Buddha’s birth date a century or so? Archaeologists may have uncovered evidence of the oldest Buddhist shrine yet discovered, dating to around 550 B.C.
Located at Nepal’s Lumbini pilgrimage center, the legendary site of the Buddha’s birth, the discovery points to the renowned religious figure living more than a century earlier than dates accepted by many scholars. (See also: “Buddha Rising.”)
“What we have got is the earliest Buddhist shrine in the world,” says archaeologist Robin Coningham of the United Kingdom’s Durham University, lead author of the discovery study, released on Monday by the journal Antiquity.
In the study, the international archaeology team reports digging beneath existing brick structures at the shrine, which is visited yearly by hundreds of thousands of pilgrims.