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Discovery: Buddha's Birth Earlier Than Thought- National Geographic Channel Revealed the Truth

Written By Mero Page on Saturday, November 30, 2013 | 7:17 AM

Oldest Buddhist Shrine Uncovered In Nepal May Push Back the Buddha's Birth Date

The Buddha was born and lived as much as 300 years earlier than some previously thought. At one of Buddhism's most revered pilgrimage sites, a National Geographic archaeologist's team has uncovered evidence that the Buddha lived in the sixth century B.C., much earlier than some scholars had believed. The excavation at Lumbini, Nepal, long identified as the birthplace of the Buddha, revealed a previously unknown timber shrine once stood there, its walls mirroring more recent brick temples.

A documentary on Coningham's exploration of the Buddha's life, "Buried Secrets of the Buddha," will premiere in February internationally on the National Geographic Channel.

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December 1, 2013 at 7:53 AM

Ugh. There is no evidence linking the underlying layers to the Asokan ruin above, and nothing at all Buddhist about the post holes which are dated to the mid 7th century +/- 126 years. Thus the holes tell us nothing whatever about when the Buddha lived and we are left with the various guesses advanced by tradition and by scholarship.

Closer examination shows that the post holes are extremely unlike any existing Buddhist shrine. The suggestion that the line of post holes represents a shrine is based on a very tenuous identification with structures at Bodhgaya and Sanchi which are very different indeed. The conclusions of the archaeologists are partly based on the Asokan ruin being built over the so-called tree shrine - except that the kerb and pavement, with the post holes underneath, run right through the middle of the Asokan ruin. Again this suggests discontinuity rather than continuity.

To present the information with the kind of certainty expressed above is to grossly misrepresent the evidence presented even in the distorted media reports about the original report. I have summarised and critiqued the report here: http://jayarava.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/the-earliest-buddhist-shrine.html

It's a real shame to see such naive adoption of wild speculation as factual information.

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