Archaeology of Buddhism in Southeast Asia

Buddhism arrived in Southeast Asia in the early part of the first mellinnum CE. It is the dominant religion in Mainland Southeast Asia.

Buddhism is a system of beliefs and traditions originating from the Buddha, Siddharta Gautama who lived around the 4th or 5th centuries BCE in what is today India or Nepal. There are two main schools of Buddhism, Mahayana (the Great Vehicle) and Theravada (the School of the Elders). The latter is the dominant form of Buddhism in Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Myanmar, while the former is mainly practiced in Vietnam and by the Chinese diaspora in Southeast Asia. While modern Mahayana Buddhism has its origins from China, it had come into the region earlier, around the 5-11th centuries via India. As the main religion of essentially Mainland Southeast Asia today, Buddhism is an important cultural marker and archaeological remnants such as temple architecture and sculpture are common.

In this page:

For more information, there’s also the Resources Page which has links to other themed collections such as the Virtual Archaeology page where you can visit Southeast Asian archaeological sites online, the Online Lecture Library, and academic papers for more up-to-date research.

Recommended by Amazon

These are affiliate links and I may receive a commission if you click on them and make a purchase.

Image Gallery

For more images, check out and follow Southeast Asian Archaeology on Instagram.

Buddhist Archaeology in the News

The news reports indexed below usually link to external sites that were active at the time of posting; sometimes websites may be temporarily down or may have reorganised their underlying architecture or have even closed down – in these cases the links may not be available. Most of the news articles archived are in English; this is largely because I do not have a working competency in Bahasa, although when I am made aware of stories in this and other languages I try to index them.

Looking for something specific? You can also use this search box:



Buy Me A Coffee
If you found this site useful, you can help support it by buying me a coffee.