Lost bell of Shwedagon Pagoda reportedly found

Dredging for King Dhammazedi's bell. Bangkok Post 20140827

A bell that was looted from the Shwedagon Pagoda 400 years ago is said to be found in the Yangon river, according to a group of local divers.

Dredging for King Dhammazedi's bell. Bangkok Post 20140827
Dredging for King Dhammazedi’s bell. Bangkok Post 20140827

Myanmar divers say famed bell found
Bangkok Post, via AFP, 27 August 2014

A team of Myanmar divers claims to have discovered a legendary bell in the murky depths of the Rangoon river — with the help of dragon spirits — in the latest twist to a 400-year-old drama that has gripped the nation.

Dozens of divers, equipped only with goggles and plastic oxygen hoses, have plunged into the fast-flowing waters in search of the long-lost Dhammazedi bell, in a spectacle that has generated scepticism but also attracted lines of spectators along the riverbank since the search began earlier this month.

The group is the latest in a series of treasure hunters eager to try to raise the near-mythical giant bell, which is said to have sunk without trace after being stolen from Rangoon’s revered Shwedagon Pagoda by a Portuguese mercenary in the 1600s.

It was reputedly loaded onto a boat which sank under the weight.

Full story here.

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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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