Discovery of the Earliest Monumental Parinirvāṇa from Bhamāla, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (Pakistan)
Keywords:Bhamāla, parinirvāṇa, Taxila, Ajanta, Tapa Sardar, Polonnaruwa
Recent archaeological excavations at Bhamāla have brought to light many important discoveries in the history of Buddhist art and architecture. One of these is the statue of Buddha measuring 14 meters in length. Radiocarbon dates of the charcoal/charred wood recovered from inside the terracotta sculptures discovered inside the chamber place the construction of the structure to around the third century CE. This represents the earliest example of a monumental image and provides new evidence that must be considered when discussing the origin of monumental images in South and Central Asia.