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Moghalmari Buddha Statue May Have Worn Gold Crown

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

MOGHALMARI, INDIA—An archaeological excavation in eastern India at the site of a sixth-century Buddhist monastery, or vihara, has recovered a fragment of gold embedded in terracotta. “We were stunned to find the portion of the gold crown,"  archaeologist Prakash Maity told The Times of India. "We feel it was part of the main Buddha statue of the vihara. Gold ornaments were normally not part of Buddha statues. But the Vajrayana sect of Buddhism worshipped what was known as the Crown Buddha. It seems this gold crown was worn by a Crown Buddha.” Statuettes, pottery, bronze artifacts, and gold coins bearing the name Samachar Deva have also been found recently. “It is possible that the Moghalmari vihara received royal patronage during the pre-Pala times from Samachar Deva, a local satrap who came into prominence in south Bengal after the fall of the Guptas in A.D. 550,” Maity explained. Two seals recovered at the site suggest that the monastery was known as “Sribandaka vihara.” To read more about archaeology in India, go to "India's Village of the Dead."

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