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November 26 2013

'Earliest shrine' uncovered at Buddha's birthplace


Archaeologists digging at Buddha's birthplace have uncovered remains of the "earliest ever Buddhist shrine". They unearthed a 6th Century BC timber structure buried within the Maya Devi Temple at Lumbini in Nepal.

The shrine appears to have housed a tree. This links to the Buddha nativity story - his mother gave birth to him while holding on to a tree branch. Its discovery may settle the dispute over the birth date of the Buddha, the team reports in the journal Antiquity.

Every year thousands of Buddhists make a holy pilgrimage to Lumbini...

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