Cifuentes, Beatriz Enid (2013) BODH GAYĀ: A Study of the Site of the Buddha’s Enlightenment
and the Related Collections in the Victoria and Albert and British Museum. Masters thesis, Durham University.
‘BODH GAYĀ: A Study of the Site of the Buddha’s Enlightenment and the Related Collections in the Victoria and Albert and British Museum’
Beatriz Cifuentes Feliciano
Bodh Gayā is recognised as the place of the Buddha’s Enlightenment and has been a site of religious activity for the last 2,300 years. There are significant architectural, sculptural and archaeological remains from this entire time span. The contention of this dissertation is that key elements of the Mahābodhi complex and key finds collected from the location have been left unstudied, leading to confused and partial conclusions about the site’s history. Erroneous conclusions in relation to the Bodhi Tree, the temple’s erection and the nature of mediaeval pilgrimage routes round Bodh Gayā are contested in the thesis through re-examination of the literature available, a focused study of the archaeological and sculptural collections in London (British Museum and V&A) and a thorough analysis of unpublished photographic material from the Cunningham collection. The latter, largely unstudied, provides new information about the state of the site in the 19th century. Collectively, these materials shed light on the development of the Mahābodhi over the centuries and help assess the impact of the restoration works carried out by the Burmese and the British. The British interventions effectively saw Bodh Gayā regain its position as an important centre of modern Buddhism. Numerous assumptions about the temple’s history were translated into its architecture and written into the scholarly literature in ways that have subsequently inspired the available writing on Bodh Gayā. This thesis aims to provide a critical revision of the Mahābodhi’s history through the careful study of the materials available.
|Item Type:||Thesis (Masters)|
|Award:||Master of Arts|
|Faculty and Department:||Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Archaeology, Department of|
|Copyright:||Copyright of this thesis is held by the author|
|Deposited On:||16 Jun 2016 08:15|