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Archaeologists study Buddha secrets in Pakistan

A team of Italian archaeologists has set off to Pakistan to study information on the life of Buddha found in a recently discovered temple in the city of Barikot, in the Swat Valley. 

Archaeologists study Buddha secrets in Pakistan
Relief depicting the silent escape of Siddhartha from the city [Credit: ANSA]
The temple, known as a Vihara, contains two bas-reliefs experts believe date back to the Kushana period between the first and third centuries BC. The Swat valley is on the border with Afghanistan.

One of the masterpieces depict the silent escape of Siddhartha from the city, on horseback with followers. 

The other depicts the 'Great Renunciation' scene, where Siddhartha, the birth name of Gautama Buddha, leaves his nuptial bed, and is taken to symbolize his leaving his wife and all ties with worldly life, according to Bari archaeologist Francesco Genchi, who is part of the team. 

Archaeologists study Buddha secrets in Pakistan
A skeleton in an ancient grave discovered this fall in Udegram, in northwestern Pakistan's Swat Valley. A team of Italian archaeologists have discovered a cemetery dating back more than 3,000 years uncovering highly complex funeral rites in Pakistan's northwestern Swat valley that was recently controlled by the Taliban, an official said [Credit: AFP]
Also in the Swat valley, another group of Italian archaeologists led by Luca Olivieri have unearthed 23 graves in what is now known as the Udegram necropolis. Some of the tombs are in excellent conditions and contain stone rooms, relatively intact human remains, vases and other items of daily use.

Source: ANSA IT [November 22, 2012]

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