ASI digs up rare sculptures at Sarnath

ASI digs up rare sculptures at Sarnath

ASI digs up rare sculptures at Sarnath

In a significant discovery, Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has excavated rare pieces in Uttar Pradesh of Gupta Art belonging to the Sarnath School depicting Lord Buddha.

Interestingly, ASI carried out the excavation after a gap of 80 years which has led to the unearthing of the Buddha sculptures in various postures from one of the trenches at Sarnath, the place which is hailed as the birthplace of Buddhism.

According to a press release, one important sculpture depicts the scene of the Buddha's descent from Tusita heaven, where he is believed to have given a sermon to his mother Mayadevi.

The place where he descended from heaven is famous as Sankassa in Pali literature and identified with the fortified city of Sankisa in Farukhabad district.

The main objective behind the excavation that had begun on February 19 this year was to collect samples for dating in the labs through the C-14 method to find out if there were remains from the pre-Mauryan era present there.

The site has in the past yielded remains from the time of King Asoka. Buddha had visited the place more than 200 years before the Mauryan king. A well-established monastic system existed afterwards, which is also mentioned in the pillar edict of Asoka from the site, the release added.

ASI Additional Director General Dr BR Mani, the director of the excavation, said that the second objective of the search was to define the different strata from the earliest times up to 12th century AD, when the site was abandoned after medieval-period attacks.