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.

    To cite this page: Tan, Noel Hidalgo (Updated 30 November 2021) Archaeology of Buddhism in Southeast Asia. Southeast Asian Archaeology. Available at:

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    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.

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