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Ye. V. Zeymal’

Site of a Hellenistic town of the Greco-Bactrian kingdom, located at the confluence of the Kokcha and Pyandzh rivers (tributaries of the Amu River), northern Afghanistan. The site was excavated by the Délégation Archéologique Française en Afghanistan under Paul Bernard, from 1965 until the outbreak of the Afghan civil war in ...

Article

Robert Knox

Site near the ancient city of Dharanikota on the right bank of the Krishna River in Guntur District, Andhra Pradesh, India, that flourished from the 3rd century bc to the 14th century ad. It is also the location of a modern town, but the site is celebrated for its stupa, which may have been the earliest Buddhist foundation in the region and which certainly came to be its largest and most elaborate (...

Article

A. P. Jamkhedkar

Site of a Shiva temple in Maharashtra, India, some 7 km south-east of Kalyan, a suburb of Bombay. An inscription inside the hall records that it was repaired in 1061 (Shaka year 982) by one Mamvaniraja (Mummuniraja) of the Shilahara dynasty, dating the temple to the early 11th century or before....

Article

Angkor  

John Villiers, Guy Nafilyan and Madeleine Giteau

Site in northern Cambodia, in a fertile plain to the north-east of the northern tip of the Tonle Sap (Great Lake) and near the modern town of Siem Reap. Angkor was the site of almost all the capital cities founded by successive rulers of the Khmer realm from the end of the 9th century ...

Article

Frederick M. Asher

Site of Buddhist monastery on the River Ganga in Bhagalpur District, Bihar, India. Until recently, the location of the monastery of Vikramashila was known only approximately from Tibetan sources, but excavations at Antichak have almost surely revealed its remains. The monastery was founded by the Pala dynasty monarch ...

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Badoh  

Michael D. Willis

Site in Vidisha District, Madhya Pradesh, India. The monumental temple ruins at the twin villages of Badoh and Pathari are scattered over a wide area, indicating that they mark the site of a once important city. The oldest remains are in a wide-mouthed cave to the west of Badoh, where a small spring is flanked by an early ...

Article

Bagh  

Frederick M. Asher

Site of Buddhist rock-cut sanctuaries in Dhar District, Madhya Pradesh, India. During the second half of the 5th century ad a series of ten sanctuaries, one of them incomplete, was carved at Bagh from rock a great deal softer and thus less durable than that of sites in the Deccan plateau, such as Ajanta: consequently the work is not well preserved. The most elaborately carved caves are nos 2, 3, 4 and 6. All the caves at Bagh are ...

Article

Bamiyan  

Mary S. Lawton

Site in north-central Afghanistan. Located at the western end of the silk route, Bamiyan flourished as a trading and religious centre until the 13th century. It is the site of a rock-cut Buddhist monastery, the most distinctive feature of which were two monumental rock-cut standing ...

Article

Joyce C. White

Site in north-east Thailand, c. 50 km east of Udon Thani. Excavations in 1974 and 1975 by Chester Gorman (1938–81) and Pisit Charoenwongsa (b 1938) uncovered a distinctive ceramic tradition, revealed chiefly through artefacts recovered from graves. Ceramics from even the earliest levels exhibit an elegance, sophistication and attention to decorative detail that far exceeds mere utilitarian needs. The funerary wares clearly served as an art medium for this village-based society. Although the ceramics are highly diverse, they share certain decorative treatments that characterize the tradition as a whole, in particular the free-hand application of abstract designs. Representational forms are rare. Many wares of the Early Period (...

Article

Daniel Ehnbom

Site of an important port on the bank of Gharo Creek, c. 64 km east of Karachi, Pakistan. It was occupied from around the 1st century bc to the 13th century ad and abandoned after a change in the course of the Indus River and a violent attack. The establishment of a large mosque, the Jami‛, dates to the early 8th century. Kufic inscriptions in the mosque are dated ...

Article

Begram  

Kurt Behrendt

Site of an ancient city located at the junction of the Panjshir and Ghorbend rivers near the modern village of Begram, 40 km north of Kabul, Afghanistan. Based on coins and structural finds of Indo-Greek origin, it is believed that Kāpiśī was an important city in the region, possibly a capital under the ...

Article

Michael D. Rabe

Site of a Hindu cave temple complex 140 km north-west of Nellore in Andhra Pradesh, India. Isolated between the precipitous red cliffs of a box canyon, the site comprises eight small and remarkably similar caves excavated from a single rock face above a stream. Datable by style and epigraphy to the 7th century ...

Article

Bhaja  

A. P. Jamkhedkar

Site of Buddhist rock-cut temples and other buildings in Pune District, Maharashtra, India. Bhaja is one of a series of cave-temple sites that developed in western India during the last two centuries bc in proximity to important trade routes. The caves were probably created by followers of Hinayana Buddhism, though paintings of Buddhas and ...

Article

Bharhut  

Kurt Behrendt

Site of a Buddhist stupa of the 2nd century bc in Satna District, Madhya Pradesh, India. The fragmentary remains of the Bharhut Stupa (see Stupa, §1) were discovered near the village of Bhaironpur by Alexander Cunningham in 1873. The stupa itself was largely destroyed, having been pillaged by local villagers for building material. Only the eastern gateway (Skt ...

Article

Michael D. Willis

Site of a 5th-century ad brick temple in Uttar Pradesh, India. The temple at Bhitargaon is the best-preserved example of 5th-century brick architecture in northern India and is especially noted for its in situ terracotta plaques and pyramidal superstructure. The building (Skt śikhara; 21×14.6×10.9 m), orientated towards the east, has a square cella entered through a ruined rectangular vestibule. Externally the cella has prominent projections (...

Article

Bhojpur  

Kirit Mankodi

Site in Madhya Pradesh, India, some 30 km south-east of Bhopal. The town flourished in the 11th century under the Paramara dynasty. A natural depression, skirted by low hills, served as the basin for the reservoir created by King Bhoja (reg 1000–55), the founder of Bhojpur. The gaps between the hills were diked, various streams and rivers diverted, and the River Betwa dammed at Bhojpur. The ruins of three massive dams show that each was 20–30 m high, about 100 m thick at the base, filled with earth and faced on the inner and outer sides with stone slabs. The reservoir was destroyed by Sultan Hoshang Shah in the 15th century. On the banks of the reservoir, Bhoja began a large Shiva temple (the linga in the sanctum is nearly 8 m high), but the building was left unfinished. A long, sloping ramp, sculptors’ abandoned workshops, draughtsmen’s drawings on stone and some ...

Article

Bhumara  

Michael D. Willis

Site of a 5th-century temple in Satna District, Madhya Pradesh, India, near the contemporary sites of Nachna and Khoh. One of the relatively few surviving Gupta-period temples, it was excavated in 1921 by R. D. Banerji. After the initial excavation, many of the sculptures from Bhumara were removed to the Allahabad Museum. Fragments are also in the Indian Museum, Calcutta, and one ...

Article

Deogarh  

Michael D. Willis

Site of Vaishnava and Jaina temples ranging from the 5th to 11th centuries in Lalitpur District, Uttar Pradesh, India. It appears that the ancient name Luacchagira, known from inscriptions, was changed to Kirtidurga after the Chandella conquest of the 11th century under Kirtivarman.

The earliest extant building at Deogarh (...

Article

Michael D. Willis

Site of ruined 5th-century temple in Madhya Pradesh, India. The temple appears to be the oldest extant example in India dedicated to Vishnu in the form of Vamana, the dwarf incarnation. A broken image of Vamana, still set in its spouted plinth, lies outside. The temple faces west and sits on a low platform (Skt ...

Article

Erberto F. Lo Bue

Site 4 km north-east of Kathmandu, not far from the Bagmati River, important for an early statue of Varaha, Vishnu’s boar incarnation. The magnificent image (h. 1.14 m), carved in a light-coloured stone, appears to have been consecrated by the Lichchhavi ruler Bhaumagupta (reg...