Group of sculptured slabs from Amravati, photographed on site after the Government excavations of 1880
Photographer: Coney, Sergeant
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of a group of sculptured slabs from Amravati, photographed on site after the Government excavations of 1880 by Sergeant Coney. In the Buddhist Stupas of Amaravati and Jaggayapeta of 1887, James Burgess, who was in charge of the excavations at Amaravati in the 1880s, described the central slab in this view as "...a fragment of a small dagoba slab of somewhat archaic style. The dome has two five-hooded cobras twisted and knotted round it; but the rest is much destroyed to allow to any restoration." 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.