Sarira container found in north China

Source: Xinhua| 2017-05-22 15:39:29|Editor: ying
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SHIJIAZHUANG, May 22 (Xinhua) -- Archaeologists in north China's Hebei Province revealed on Sunday that they have found an intact sarira container at the site of a pagoda in a royal temple dating back to the Northern Qi Dynasty (550-577).

"Sarira" is a general term with a number of meanings, but is generally used to describe the bodily remains after a Buddhist cremation. The remains of Buddhist masters were often said to contain crystalline beads or pearl like objects.

The container was found in the basement of a wood pagoda at the site of Dazhuangyan Temple in Linzhang County in 2014. It has been the subject of archaeological research and was only recently revealed to the public.

The stone container is just over 40 cm long and 36 cm wide, unpolished with some inscriptions on the surface.

A total of 98 items were contained in the box, including a long-necked glass bottle, agate and amber beads and copper hairpins.

Along with the well-preserved sarira container, four small green glazed pots were positioned at the four corners of the container with another bigger green pot containing various beads nearby.

The sarira container showed the relation between architecture and burial rituals. The items found along with the container will be invaluable in research of burial systems in ancient China.