The Helgö Buddha

Helgö Buddha from Northeast Indian A remarkable collection of religious items sourced from diverse lands was discovered during archae­ological excavations on the Swedish island of Helgö. Located in Lake Malaren, to the west of Stockholm, this small island was an important Viking trading and manu­factur­ing centre (6th-11th centuries AD).

Undoubtedly the most extra­ordi­nary find dis­covered during the exca­vations at Helgö was a small, bronze Buddha. This devotional figure dates from circa the 6th century AD and was probably made in Kashmir, on the Pakistan/India border. The Buddha has a silver urna on his forehead, symbolizing the third eye, while the ears have long lobes, the insignia of royalty. He sits in a meditative pose upon a double lotus throne, the latter representing purity. The Buddha probably arrived in Helgö via Swedish merchants whose eastern trade routes were concentrated along Russian rivers such as the Volga.

From: Irish Archaeology.

Other views from the Swedish History Museum.

 

Height around 8.5cm just over 3 inches.



Categories: Art, Buddhism, Encyclopedia, History, News & events

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