Oldest Buddhist shrine holds clues to Buddha's birth

Story highlights

  • Archaeologists have found Buddhist shrine from sixth century B.C.
  • Its remains were found under a known Buddhist shrine, built about 300 years later
  • Results are published in the journal Antiquity
  • The older structure seems to have been made of timber
There are about 500 million Buddhists worldwide, but it's unclear exactly when in history this religion began. The Buddha's life story spread first through oral tradition, and little physical evidence about Buddhism's early years has been found.
Now, scientists for the first time have uncovered archaeological evidence of when the Buddha's monumentally influential life occurred. Excavations in Nepal date a Buddhist shrine, located at what is said to be the Buddha's birthp