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Culture:Indian (Pakistan), Gandhara, Kushan period
Title:Section of a Drum from a Buddhist Stupa
Date Made:ca. 4th century CE
Materials:gray schist
Measurements:Overall: 4 1/2 in x 15 7/8 in x 15/16 in; 11.4 cm x 40.3 cm x 2.4 cm
Accession Number:  AC 1981.24
Credit Line:Museum purchase with aid from the Hamilton Fund and the Adele Wood Smith Trust Fund
Museum Collection:  Mead Art Museum at Amherst College

A stupa is a free-standing domed structure that served as a monumental container of relics and symbol of the death of Buddha. Devotion is expressed by walking around the dome, itself a cosmic emblem, which was enriched by sculptured reliefs. The curved relief is divided into two registers by a dentil molding set with lion masks. The upper register contains niches with figures based on the life of Buddha, such as Buddha in a cave (#3) and Indra worshipping the Buddha (#4).

architecture; Buddhism; figures; narrative; patterns; symbolism

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