Description: Carved Stone Buddha head with mustaches, Gandhara Kingdom, 200-300 AD; This the earliest anthropomorphic image of Buddha in the history of Buddhism. Buddhism was supported by the kings of Gandhara and then spread to the most parts of Asia. Gandhara had been under influence of two great empires: Maurya Empire (322-180 BC) and Graeco-Bactrian kingdom (250-125 BC). From Mauryan Empire, (most famous king was king Ashoka), Gandhara has inherited attraction to Buddhism. Also Gandhara has had an obvious influence from Graeco-Bactrian kingdom, which was built by Alexander the Great. The arts of Bactria was under influence of Hellenistic culture. Thats why this Buddha has unusual masculine European image. Presumably, this stone head was a part of the Buddhist Temple carved in a solid rock. This sample is original, not restored or altered in any way. Height: 7 inches = 17.5 cm; Width: 5 inches = 13 cm; Depth: 1.75 inches = 4.5 cm; Weight: 3 lb. 3.5 oz. = 1459 g = 1 kg 459 g Material: Schist stone; Condition: Small chips all over, but good preservation, considering age (1700 years old). No restoration; original condition. Provenance: from private collection (more info is available on demand) Additional photos of several Gandhara items are available on demand, so you can create a composition (combination) of several carved figures, which will make your collection more full. Gandh?ra (Sanskrit/Hindi: ?????? Gand??r?, Urdu/Punjabi: ???????, Pashto: ??????,'; also known as ?????? Waihind in Persian), is the name of an ancient kingdom (Mahajanapada), located in northern Pakistan and eastern Afghanistan. Gandhara was located mainly in the vale of Peshawar, the Potohar plateau (see Taxila) and on the Kabul River. Its main cities were Purushapura (modern Peshawar), literally meaning City of Man and Takshashila (modern Taxila). The Kingdom of Gandhara lasted from the early 1st millennium BC to the 11th century AD. It attained its height from the 1st century to the 5th century under the Buddhist Kushan Kings. The Hindu term Shahi is used by history writer Al-Biruni to refer to the ruling Hindu dynasty that took over from the Turki Shahi and ruled the region during the period prior to Muslim conquests of the 10th and 11th centuries. After it was conquered by Mahmud of Ghazni in 1021 CE, the name Gandhara disappeared. During the Muslim period the area was administered from Lahore or from Kabul. During Mughal times the area was part of Kabul province. King Ashoka and Buddhism The Maurya Empire was a geographically extensive Iron Age historical power founded by Chandragupta Maurya which dominated ancient India between c.?322 and 185 BCE Legend says that one day after the war was over, Ashoka ventured out to roam the city and all he could see were burnt houses and scattered corpses. The lethal war with Kalinga transformed the vengeful Emperor Ashoka to a stable and peaceful emperor and he became a patron of Buddhism. According to the prominent Indologist, A. L. Basham, Ashoka's personal religion became Buddhism, if not before, then certainly after the Kalinga war. However, according to Basham, the Dharma officially propagated by Ashoka was not Buddhism at all. Nevertheless, his patronage led to the expansion of Buddhism in the Mauryan empire and other kingdoms during his rule, and worldwide from about 250 BCE. Prominent in this cause were his son Mahinda (Mahendra) and daughter Sanghamitra (whose name means "friend of the Sangha"), who established Buddhism in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka).
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