An international team of archaeologists has begun a large-scale study of the complex of Lumbini in Nepal — one of the major Buddhist shrines, the birthplace of Gautama Buddha. According to the report of UNESCO, namely, the organization coordinating the project, and it is funded from the state budget in Japan. It is assumed that the study will last three years. Supervises the work of Professor Robin Coningham of Durham University, UK.
In the course of studies suggest, in particular, to clarify the dating of the oldest buildings in Lumbini, which, in turn, are based dating of the life of Gautama Buddha (the various versions, VI, or V century BC).
Central structure is the so-called Lumbini Ashokan pillar erected in memory of the pilgrimage of the first Buddhist ruler of India (III century BC). It was discovered in 1896. The main temple complex is Maya Devi, dedicated to the mother of Gautama Buddha. On its territory in 1996, was found a stone that supposedly marks the exact spot where Gautama was born. Own temples in the complex built many Buddhist communities from different countries, from Cambodia to Germany. In 1997, the complex was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List.
It is believed that Siddhartha Gautama was born in Lumbini Gardens, was the son of the head of the Shakya clan, and up to 29 years of living in those places, bathed in luxury and not even knowing that there is light at the old age and disease. A chance meeting with an old man so impressed him that he left the palace, he became a wandering ascetic and finally attained enlightenment and became the Buddha (Awake). The teaching of Gautama Buddha on the Middle Way was the basis of Buddhism.
See also: Life in Antarctica, artifacts of ancient civilizations.