Historical and Archaeological Findings in News

Phanigiri Buddhist artefacts at display in NYC


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Phanigiri Buddhist artefacts

Mains level: NA


Central Idea

  • The Phanigiri artefacts belonging to 200 BCE-400 CE are on display at the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art.

About Phanigiri

  • Phanigiri, which means “hillock of snake hood,” is a small village located around 150 km from Hyderabad.
  • A treasure trove of ancient Buddhist art was discovered in 1942, and it re-emerged into the world’s spotlight in 2003.

Phanigiri’s Artefacts

  • Stupa-like architecture: The discoveries at Phanigiri, particularly the thoranas (archways), have rewritten the narrative of Buddhism in southern India.
  • Presence of sects: These thoranas are among the earliest found south of Sanchi and provide evidence of both Mahayana and Hinayana schools of thought coexisting in Phanigiri.
  • Deification of Buddha: Phanigiri reveals a crucial transition in the perception of Buddha, from a historical and spiritual figure to a deity. This transformation is etched in the artifacts discovered here.

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