Buddhist relic discovered in central China

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Archaeologists have discovered five precious sariras, believed to be collected from the cremated ashes of Buddhist masters, at an ancient tomb in central China's Hubei Province.

Archaeologists have discovered five precious sariras at an ancient tomb in central China's Hubei Province. [Photo/rmzxb.com]

It is very rare to find sariras in a tomb, as they are usually unearthed at Buddhist temples, Chen Qianwan, head of the archaeology institute of Xiangyang City, said on Tuesday.

The bead-shaped holy objects usually are kept in sacred containers. The most recent find was embedded on the top of a tomb belonging to an official from the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) at the foot of the Xianshan Mountain in Xiangyang, according to Chen.

The largest of the sariras has a diameter of about 3 centimeters. In the light, they vary in color from red, purple, blue, cyan and orange.

The objects were found in late December and later identified by prestigious monks and researchers as sariras. They believe the owner of the tomb was a Buddhist.

The findings will be kept in the city's museum.

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