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«Book of Abstracts 22-24 August 2012 Colombo Organized by SAARC Cultural Centre, Sri Lanka General Editor G.L.W. Samarasinghe, Director, SAARC ...»

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Book of Abstracts

22-24 August 2012


Organized by

SAARC Cultural Centre,

Sri Lanka

General Editor

G.L.W. Samarasinghe, Director, SAARC Cultural Centre.

Executive Editor

Dr. Sanjay Garg, Deputy Director (Research), SAARC Cultural


Editorial Team

Soundarie David Rodrigo, Deputy Director (Programme), SAARC

Cultural Centre

Nirekha De Silva, Research Officer, SAARC Cultural Centre.

Apsara Karunaratne, Research Assitant, SAARC Cultural Centre.

Production Team Type Setting and Cover Design: Ishan Amaraweera Proof Reading: Oshadhie Lecamwasam, Manisha Hannan Printing: Vishwa Graphics (Pvt) Ltd.

SAARC International Conference on Archaeology of Buddhism:

Recent Discoveries in South Asia © SAARC Cultural Centre, Colombo 2012 All Rights Reserved. No material in this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the publisher.

ISBN 978-955-0567-04-1 Disclaimer: The views expressed and the information contained in the abstracts included in this publication is the sole responsibility of the author/s, and do not bear any liability on the SAARC Cultural Centre, Colombo.

Note: The abstracts are reproduced in the form in which they have been submitted by the participants; no editing work has been undertaken and we are not responsible for any inconsistencies in the spelling of proper nouns.

Message from H.E. the President of Sri Lanka I am pleased to send this message to the Book of Abstracts being published for the SAARC International

Conference in Colombo, on the “Archaeology of Buddhism:

Recent Discoveries in South Asia” organized by the SAARC Cultural Centre, Sri Lanka.

It is noteworthy that this important conference on Buddhist Archaeology in this region coincides with the exposition of the Sacred Kapilavastu Relics being held in Sri Lanka, made possible by the Government of India at the request of Sri Lanka to mark the ceremonies of the 2600th Sambuddhatva Jayanthi.

This conference will be a useful platform to assess the present state of Buddhist archaeological exploration and conservation in the South Asia Region, especially in the past six decades, which show an increased interest in the search for sites of importance to Buddhism in diverse areas of this region.

This learned gathering will discuss the country situation of the member states of SAARC on recent excavations and explorations of Buddhist archaeological sites and remains, study the feasibility of new technology to digitally map all such locations in the region, and develop shared understanding on excavation, documentation and conservation methodology.

i The SAARC Cultural Centre has also done well in organizing a number of other activities such as photographic and book exhibitions, the screening of documentary films and an exhibition of paintings by contemporary artists that have relevance to the theme of this conference.

I trust this conference will add to the continued efforts to protect and promote the common cultural heritage of Buddhism that is spread throughout the South Asian Region.

I take this opportunity to appreciate the work of the SAARC Cultural Centre and express my warm good wishes for the success of this conference.

Mahinda Rajapaksa President of Sri Lanka

iiMessage from the Hon. Prime Minister

I take great pleasure in sending this message on the occasion of the publication of the volume of abstracts for the SAARC International Conference on Archaeology of Buddhism: Recent Discoveries in South Asia.

This Conference is an important catalyst to draw world's attention to the archaeological heritage of South Asia as a region that flourished both in culture and religion since ancient times. This is a region that gave birth to great religions and civilizations which shaped the rich and alluring way of life of its inhabitants over millennia. Buddhism for its part spread from India, its place of origin to other neighboring cultures through a gradual process of cultural exchanges and played a significant role in shaping the South Asian pattern of life for centuries. It is that great heritage; the SAARC Cultural Centre seeks to honour by hosting the International Conference on Archaeology of Buddhism. The Conference aims to bring together academics of Archaeology to share information and knowledge on Buddhist archaeological findings in South Asia. This event in my view will help preserve the common cultural and religious heritage of South Asians as a unique and distinct fraternity.

I congratulate the SAARC Cultural Centre for organizing this event and wish it all the best in its future endeavours.

D.M. Jayaratne Prime Minister of Sri Lanka

iiiMessage from the Minister of External Affairs

It is with great pleasure that I issue this message in the volume of abstracts for the SAARC International Conference on Archaeology of Buddhism: Recent Discoveries in South Asia organized by the SAARC Cultural Centre based in Colombo.

Since time immemorial, South Asia has been linked by social and historical traditions which have strengthened our people to people relations. Amongst many religions that have originated from South Asia, Buddhist philosophy is spread throughout the world particularly as a result of religious propagation during the Asoka Empire in 3rd Century BC.

In recent times, there have been numerous archaeological discoveries in South Asia and throughout the Buddhist circuit enriching the cultural tapestry of our region.

Through this Conference, SAARC Cultural Centre has undertaken a task to take the advanced research in archeology in South Asia to another level by drawing world's attention to the distinct history of the region. Centre tries to draw a roadmap for the regional conservation and management through dialogue and information sharing so as to secure the Buddhist archaeological sites and ruins 'for future generations. The Conference is also a platform for all South Asian countries with different cultural background to showcase their rich history and culture, and to strengthen the integrity of this region.

iv Sri Lanka, as a predominantly Buddhist country with devout commitment to protect and preserve Buddhist values, feels honoured to be the venue for this Conference and I am certain that all participants will have an opportunity to witness the glory of the ancient Buddhist Civilization in Sri Lanka.

Thus far, the SAARC Cultural Centre has conducted many events to strengthen cultural cooperation among SAARC members. I believe this conference too will provide an excellent window for academics engaged in the explorations of the Buddhist Archeological sites and remains to come together and contribute to this region's rich cultural diversity. I wish to congratulate all the official nominees and the other participants from the Member States and also those who were involved in making this event a success.

I wish SAARC Cultural Centre and the event organizers the very best in all their future endeavors.

Prof. G.L. Peiris Minister of External Affairs

vMessage from the Minister of National Heritage

South Asia reflects a diverse and multifarious society that boasts about a rich civilization of cultural and religious traditions of grand olden times that reflect unity and harmony among its people since antiquity. Therefore cultural heritage in the South Asian context has played a major role in igniting a sense of brotherhood among its people. South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation too seeks to promote collaboration among its people in many a field of which culture is one component.

SAARC Cultural Centre, recognizing the important role of cultural heritage has initiated numerous projects that showcase the shared cultural heritage of the region. As its latest venture, the Centre has embarked on an International Conference titled ‘SAARC International Conference on Archaeology of Buddhism: Recent discoveries in South Asia’ that aims to promote advanced research on Buddhist archaeological inheritance in the region by bringing together academics from all over the globe and specifically the region.

I would like to congratulate SAARC Cultural Centre on this remarkable initiative and would like to extend my warm wishes on the event of the publication of the volume of abstracts related to the Conference on Archeology of Buddhism.

I wish the Centre every success.

Dr. Jagath Balasuriya Minister of National Heritage

viMessage from the Minister of Culture and the Arts

I am pleased to forward this message on the event of the publication of the volume of abstracts for the SAARC

International Conference on Archaeology of Buddhism:

Recent Discoveries in South Asia.

South Asia is one of the most diverse regions in the world with a rich assortment of cultural and religious heritage that has harmoniously blended over centuries thus creating a unique South Asian identity. This particular inheritance enabled generations of South Asians to bind together as a distinctive group of people.

SAARC Cultural Centre, the only Regional Centre in Sri Lanka should be lauded for taking this important step in bringing together academics in the region to share information and discoveries on Buddhist archaeological heritage in the region and thereby unearth the proud culture of our ancestors.

The Conference will further advanced research on Buddhist archaeology in the region that would promote regional cooperation and cultural and religious development. It would, I am sure mirror the proud roots of South Asians as a diverse group of people bonded together by a common thread of civilized culture.

I take this opportunity to congratulate the Centre on this endeavour and wish it all the best!

T.B. Ekanayake Minister of Culture and the Arts

viiMessage from Secretary General of SAARC

It is with great pleasure that I forward you this message on behalf of the Member States of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, SAARC Secretariat, and on my own on the occasion of the publication of the volume of abstracts for the SAARC International Conference on Archaeology of Buddhism: Recent discoveries in South Asia. SAARC is a region where various cultures and religions has been coexisting for millennia and continues to show their common cultural continuum that has influenced, and metamorphosed into a common culture that is unique and distinct. Having identified the importance of the region and regional cooperation in this vital part of the globe, the South Asian Leaders signed the SAARC Charter with the desire to promote the welfare of the peoples of South Asia and improve their quality of their life through regional cooperation in economic, social, cultural and technical fields. Since the signing of SAARC Charter on 8 December 1985, SAARC has gradually emerged to be the beacon of hope and expectations of millions of people in the region.

Being the only Regional Centre of SAARC in Sri Lanka, the SAARC Cultural Centre has embarked on a myriad of activities and programmes for the benefit of our people.

This Conference on Archaeology of Buddhism of South Asia is one such initiative, and first of its kind, to have been implemented to bring together academics in the region about recent archaeological finds on Buddhism. This Conference not only pays tribute to the rich religious heritage of South Asia viii but also seeks to share information on recent archaeological discoveries within the region.

I would like to congratulate the SAARC Cultural Centre for undertaking a task of this magnitude and my sincere greetings and well wishes are with the SAARC Cultural Centre and all academics who are presenting research papers at the Conference.

Ahmed Saleem Secretary General of SAARC

ixMessage from the Director, SAARC Cultural Centre

Considering the socio-economic forces in the world people believe that the twenty first century belong to Asia, because two third of the world’s population is living in Asia and the main market place for production and industrial world might be Asia. Since culture is the governing force of the socio-economic development of any country, Asian countries are more fortunate because those countries have more effective cultures rich in age old traditions and indegenous knowledge mostly based on Buddhist philosophy. It is accepted that China and other far eastern countries have achieved their development because of the age old culture and traditions prevailing in those countries.

South Asia represents one of the most diverse regions of the world rich in tangible and intangible cultural heritage.

Most of these cultural heritage sites have been neglected and destroyed for centuries due to several reasons. However, during the post colonial period some western scholars diverged their attention to the Archeological heritage of the Asian Region and realised that there were distinctive remains amongst the archeological ruins in all South Asian countries.

They have assesed the value and the richness of the Archeological remains scattered all over the Region. Then they commenced excavation and preservation of Archeological sites identified. Most of these sites were based on the Buddha and Buddhism. When tourism was developed as a leisure industry during the last six decades or so all x Archeological sites gained popularity among tourists from Western countries.

Obvious result of that popularity was that numerous national and international Archaeological missions came forward to conduct more research on new and existing Archaeological sites. As a result South Asian Region became one of the main Archeological grounds busy with research and surveys in the world during the last few decades.We believe that there are so many new findings and discoveries lay behind and that is why SAARC Cultural Centre initiated to organise this International Conference on Archeology of Buddhism to review and expose recent discoveries. I hope this will be a very good platform for scholars of South Asia and beyond for an effective diologue on Archaeology of Buddhism.

G.L.W. Samarasinghe Director, SAARC Cultural Centre

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