UN-backed project to conserve Buddha’s birthplace in Nepal begins

Date:

Share post:

An international team of archaeologists has begun a three-year survey, coordinated by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), of the archaeological ruins of Lumbini, the birthplace of Buddha in Nepal.

Lumbini Buddha, Nepal Lumbini is a world-renowned Buddhist pilgrimage destination and a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1997.

The project, funded by the Japanese Government and coordinated by the UNESCO office in the Nepalese capital, Kathmandu, aims to identify the presence, or absence, of archaeological deposits, invisible below the surface, so that appropriate placing of pilgrim facilities can be made without damaging valuable archaeological resources.

“UNESCO welcomes the implementation of this innovative and interdisciplinary project which mobilises national and international experts towards the strengthening and conservation of the World Heritage Property of Lumbini for the benefit of humanity,” said Axel Plathe, Head of UNESCO’s Kathmandu Office.

Mayadevi Temple, Lumbini, Nepal The team of archaeologists, including experts from Nepal’s Department of Archaeology and the Lumbini Development Trust, is directed by Robin Coningham, UNESCO Archaeological Expert and Professor of Archaeology, University of Durham.

“This project offers a unique opportunity to investigate some of the earliest developmental phases of one of the world’s great religious traditions, and will introduce new scientific evidence into the debate surrounding the date of the Buddha’s birth,” said Mr. Coningham.

Siddhartha Gautama, who later became Buddha, was born in 623 B.C. in the famous gardens of Lumbini. The Indian emperor Ashoka, a pilgrim to the site, erected a commemorative pillar there.

The three-year initiative is part of a larger project entitled “Strengthening the Conservation and Management of Lumbini, the Birthplace of Lord Buddha,” launched last year to address a number of issues and challenges facing the World Heritage site, including the deteriorating condition of the Marker Stone and the Ashokan pillar, as well as inadequately mapped associated archaeological remains both within the site and in the adjacent areas.


Source: UN News Centre [January 11, 2011]


ADVERTISEMENT

spot_img

Related articles

Hercules Room at Rome’s Palazzo Venezia to be restored

Four-month-long restoration work to bring back to its original splendor the Hercules Room of 15th-century Palazzo Venezia in...

Young human-specific genes correlated with brain evolution

Young genes that appeared since the primate branch split from other mammal species are expressed in unique structures...

Architectural remains found off Zakynthos shore

An extremely important new underwater archaeological site, with extensive sunken architectural remains, was discovered by an Ephorate of...

Syria’s Deir-Sinbol Archeological Site

Deir Sinbol Site is one of the most prominent archeological spots in the Idleb, north Syria, for the...

Three new arthropod species have been found in Spanish caves

A team of scientists from the University of Navarra and the Catalan Association of Biospeleology have discovered three...

Family tree of all known snake and lizard groups mapped

A George Washington University biologist and a team of researchers have created the first large-scale evolutionary family tree...

Government mission to document India’s built heritage

It’s an ambitious effort to build a database of India’s built heritage and antiquities and prevent both from...

Iceman leaves few relatives

The Neolithic mummy dubbed the Iceman likely has no relatives alive today on his mom's side of the...