Fragments of two sculptured slabs from Amravati, photographed on site after the Government excavations of 1880
Photographer: Coney, Sergeant
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of fragments of two sculptured slabs from Amravati, photographed on site after the Government excavations of 1880 by Sergeant Coney. In 'The Buddhist Stupas of Amravati and Jaggayapeta' of 1887, James Burgess, who was in charge of the excavations at Amaravati in the 1880s, described the central slab, numbered 221 in this view, "Another lower fragment...shows the worship of the dagoba by two men, with two devatas above." The Amaravati Stupa was founded in the 3rd-2nd centuries BC and enlarged in the 1st-4th centuries AD under the Satavahana and Ikshvaku patronage and represents one of the greatest architectural achievement of ancient India. Colin Mackenzie (1754-1821) encountered the stupa at Amaravati in 1798, making him the first European to discover this Second Century Buddhist monument. The stupa consisted of a large solid dome standing on a cylindrical platform, or drum, surrounded by a great railing. The whole drum was elaborately decorated on its outer surface by a series of sculptured slabs and pilasters. The monument now only survive in the collections of the Amaravati sculptures in various museums.