CHINA Discovered ancient Buddha statues may have been hidden to avoid persecution

CHINA

Discovered ancient Buddha statues may have been hidden to avoid persecution

Global Times

03:34, December 13, 2017

Related image

Archaeologists in Northwest China have unearthed dozens of statues they believe were hidden during a suppression of Buddhism nearly 1,500 years ago, local officials announced on Monday.

A total of 65 Buddha heads were recently found at the bottom of a kiln at an archaeological site near the city center of Xi'an, Shaanxi Province.  

The 65 clay figures, each between 10 and 30 centimeters in height, are some of the most significant discoveries of Buddhist iconography in the area in recent years, experts said.

Their slim faces and elongated noses point date their creation to no later than the Northern Zhou Dynasty (557-581), explained Xiao Jianyi, research at Shaanxi Provincial Institute of Archaeology.

Experts believe the heads may have come from a nearby temple and were hidden by disciples during two of the Four Buddhist Persecutions of ancient China. 

In 574 and 577, Zhou emperor Wu Di led campaigns to suppress Buddhism in the belief the temples had become too powerful.

These kilns and relics offer a glimpse into these first two Northern Zhou persecutions, Xiao said. 

Related Stories

Terms of Service & Privacy Policy

We have updated our privacy policy to comply with the latest laws and regulations. The updated policy explains the mechanism of how we collect and treat your personal data. You can learn more about the rights you have by reading our terms of service. Please read them carefully. By clicking AGREE, you indicate that you have read and agreed to our privacy policies

Agree and continue