Ancient Burmese capital may have existed in a longer range than originally thought

The ancient capital of Sri Ksetra, of the now-extinct Pyu people in central Burma may have existed even earlier than the conventional 5th century date it was supposed to have been established, and endured longer after its supposed fall to the Bagan kingdom in the 11th century. These assertions were made on the basis of similar artwork found in India dating three centuries earlier, and the number of Bagan-style architecture found in Sri Ksetra dating to after its supposed fall.

Archaeologists shed new light on old Sri Ksetra
20081112 The Myanmar Times

The Pyu settlement of Sri Ksetra could be centuries older than previously thought, according to a research paper published earlier this year.

The scholarly consensus is that the Pyu settlement arose in the fifth century CE, based largely on a stone relief now in Yangon’s National Museum. But “this dating might be revised backward”, according to the paper’s authors, as similar artwork found in India has been dated to the second century BCE.

“[I]t suggests the possibility of both craft and ritual activity at [Sri Ksetra] well before the fifth century CE,” according to the authors, archaeologist Bob Hudson, from Australia’s University of Sydney, and Terry Lustig.


Related Books:
Southeast Asia: From Prehistory to History
Burma: Art and Archaeology
Early Landscapes of Myanmar
Early Civilizations of Southeast Asia (Archaeology of Southeast Asia)

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Author: Noel Tan

Dr Noel Hidalgo Tan is the Senior Specialist in Archaeology at SEAMEO-SPAFA, the Southeast Asian Regional Centre for Archaelogy and Fine Arts.

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