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Title: The Buddhist stupa site of Bharhut and its sacred and secular geographies
Author: Hawkes, J. D.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2007
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The remains of the Buddhist stupa at Bharhut have long been the subject of much study. While the remains have been well documented, however, a pre-occupation with only a few ‘important’ sculptures and inscriptions has limited the full examination of archaeological data. Interpretations about Bharhut, and the ways in which the Buddhist community at the site were engaged with the wider society around them, have always been made with reference to wider models of Buddhism, and not the evidence provided by the site and the region. Addressing this, research carried out for this PhD has re-examined this important site from all points of view. An inter-disciplinary methodology was formulated with 3 distinct foci of enquiry. First, shifting attention away from a traditional preoccupation with the stupa monument, the wider archaeological context of the site of Bharhut has been comprehensively examined. Second, the wider regional contexts of Bharhut have been examined by surveying the archaeological and geographical features in the surrounding region. Third, the sculptures and inscriptions have been thoroughly re-assessed in light of the findings of the examination of the site and the region. Examination of the site has established the extent, nature and life-span of Bharhut. Examination of the wider region has resulted in the discovery of 311 new sites. The spatial analysis of these and other known sites in the surrounding area has enabled the construction of the first historical outline of the wider Bharhut region, identifying the main socio-political and economic processes that occurred throughout the life-span of the site of Bharhut. Consideration of the evidence of the site, the region and the sculptures and inscriptions from the Bharhut stupa has then enabled the identification of the ways in which the monastic community at Bharhut was actively engaged in these wider processes.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available