DISCOVERY

Oldest Buddhist Shrine Unearthed

Holy reincarnation! Archaeologists in Nepal have uncovered evidence of what would be the oldest Buddhist shrine known to exists, dating to around 550 B.C. Located in Lumbini, the site of Buddha's birth, the site's date would place his birth a century earlier than the date accepted by scholars. The date of Buddha's birth is a point of dispute, as Nepal prefers 623 B.C., while others lean towards more recent dates hovering around 400 B.C. The archaeologists dug beneath the brick structures at the shrine and found older wooden structures which are replicated by the newer brick ones. Lumbini is one of the four sacred centers of Buddhism, and is visited by hundreds of thousands of pilgrims a year.