Clues on Buddha’s birth in oldest shrine

NEPAL, Kathmandu : Nepalese Buddhist offer prayers at Swayambhunath during Buddha Purnima, which marks the Buddha's birthday, in Kathmandu on May 25, 2013. Buddha was born in Lumbini, Nepal some 200 kms southwest of the Kathmandu valley. Buddhists commemorate the birth of Buddha, his attaining enlightenment and his passing away on the full moon day of May which falls on May 25 this year. AFP PHOTO/Prakash MATHEMA

Archaeologists uncovered a Buddhist shrine in Nepal that could provide clues to the birth of the Buddha. The remains of the shrine, dating back to the sixth century B.C., were found under a temple built in the third century B.C. at Lumbini, said to be the Buddha’s birthplace. CNN reports there is evidence to suggest a tree grew at the center of the structure, supporting the traditional story that the Buddha’s mother held onto a tree branch while giving birth. Robin Coningham, lead author of the study published in the journal Antiquity, said, “This is one of those rare occasions when belief, tradition, archaeology and science actually come together.”

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