Archaeologists have announced the discovery of a vaulted Mycenaean tomb near Amfissa, central Greece, containing human remains and a hoard of treasures. The 3,300-year-old tomb is the first of its kind to be found in the region, and one of only a few that have been found untouched. The finding is expected to provide valuable information regarding the habitation, burial customs, and possessions of the Mycenaeans in the 2nd millennium BC. According to the Greek Reporter, the ancient tomb was found during an irrigation project that required excavation in the area. A preliminary analysis of the monument revealed that grave robbers had tried to gain access to the interior of the tomb in the past, but had failed, allowing the precious grave goods to remain untouched over the millennia. The tomb is a tholos, or beehive tomb, characterized by a vaulted ceiling created by the superposition of successively smaller rings of mudbricks or, more often, stones. In Greece, the vaulted tholoi are a monumental Late Bronze Age development. After about 1500 BCE, tholoi became more widespread and are found in every part of the Mycenaean heartland. They are typically cut into the slope of a hillside so that only the upper third of the vaulted chamber was above ground level. This masonry was then concealed with a relatively small mound of earth. After a burial, the entrance to the tomb was filled in with soil, leaving a small mound with most of the tomb underground. One of the finest examples is the Treasury of Atreus in Mycenae. The Treasury of Atreus in Mycenae, Greece (public domain) Lamiastar.gr reports that the newly-discovered tomb is 9 meters (30ft) long with a circular burial chamber measuring 5.9 meters (19ft) in diameter. The vaulted ceiling had collapsed but the walls of the chamber are well-preserved and maintained a height of almost 3 meters (10ft). Within the burial chamber, archaeologists found a large number of human bones. The dead had been buried in the floor with their personal belongings until complete decomposition. Their bones had then been pushed near the walls of the tomb in order to create space for newer burials and a few of these were better preserved than the rest. The research team, led by chief archaeologist Athanasia Psalti, unearthed many unique and valuable artifacts inside the tomb, including more than forty pieces of painted pottery, bronze vases, small vessels for storing aromatic oils, gold and bronze rings, one of which had an engraved decoration, buttons made of semi-precious stones, two bronze daggers, spearheads, female and zoomorphic idols and a large number of seals with animal, floral and linear motives. . . .
“Archaeologists have discovered more than 1,000 ancient Buddha statues in three stone caves on a cliff-face in Yangqu County, in north China’s Shanxi Province, according to a report in China.org.cn. Although official dating has not yet been carried out, it is believed that the statues date back to the Ming Dynasty.
The Ming dynasty, was the ruling dynasty of China for 276 years (1368–1644 AD) following the collapse of the Mongol-led Yuan dynasty. The Ming, described by some as “one of the greatest eras of orderly government and social stability in human history”, was the last dynasty in China ruled by ethnic Han Chinese. The creation of stone Buddha statues reached its peak during the period from the Northern and Southern Dynasties (420-589) to the Tang Dynasty (618-907), so it is rare to find stone Buddha statues from the Ming Dynasty.
According to traditional accounts, Buddhism was introduced in China during the Han dynasty (206 BC-220 AD) after an emperor dreamed of a flying golden man thought to be the Buddha. Although the archaeological record confirms that Buddhism was introduced sometime during the Han dynasty, it did not flourish in China until the Six Dynasties period (220-589 AD). The year 67 CE saw Buddhism’s official introduction to China with the coming of the two monks Moton and Chufarlan.
The latest finding including stone statues carved into the cave walls and measuring 12 to 25 centimetres long, said Yang Jifu, director of the county’s cultural heritage tourism bureau. Yang said two of the caves had been restored in the Ming Dynasty, according to the record on two steles in the caves. . . . .”