Archaeologists searching for evidence of the lifestyle of the Buddha believed that they may have found a daily itinerary belonging to the revered philosopher, spiritual guide, and religious leader. This simply organized “to-do” list which is written in Brahmi script on a parchment skin seems to outline a tally of tasks that the Buddha (born Siddhārtha Gautama or “Sidd” to his friends) had set himself to do. The parchment is believed to have belonged to Gautama because it was found in a buried stupa a stone’s throw from a site that once contained what are believed to be his remains. This site was first excavated more than a hundred years ago, and had been thought thoroughly investigated so it was of great surprise to the international archaeological team that a treasure trove of details concerning the Buddha’s life could have been overlooked by previous researchers and scholars.
The research team leader Bon Chance Godfrey told Hyperallergic that they were stunned by the discovery:
Really, we were looking for the keys to one of our vehicles. One of our team members Gunter Höhlenforscher had brought his dog who has a habit of taking things and burying them where we have a devil of a time finding them. Anyway, we were digging with our bare hands in the dirt (which we admittedly should not been doing) and came upon a stone coffer containing what may be parts of a diary and this to-do list. It’s really a remarkable find that gives us insight into the most quotidian aspects of this towering figure’s life.
Among the items on the list (which has only been partially deciphered) are reminders to: pick up quail eggs from a market stall, purchase something that loosely translates as “catnip,” visit the sandal repairer, write his mother, repay the debt owed to one “Vipassi,” purchase more parchment skin (the “softer kind”), and find fermented goat’s milk. (Apparently the Buddha didn’t mind hitting the sauce before he became perfectly self-awakened.) The find has yet to be fully translated from Brahmi script, but once it is and then independently authenticated, the secrets of the life of one of humanity’s most respected and esteemed teachers will be only be more fully understood.
For roughly half an hour, art collectors had to consider a world in which they didn’t get that Alex Katz work.
From art fairs to alternative spaces that may not be on your radar, here’s a run-down of what to see (and eat and sip) in Miami. No NFTs, we promise.
Protests are erupting across the country in response to President Xi Jinping’s strict zero-COVID policy.
What does it mean when the world’s richest person trolls us?
SCAD’s booth at Design Miami/ features glazed tiles by alumi artists Nicolas Barrera, Lauren Clay, Gonzalo Hernandez, Cory Imig, Abel Macias, and Nikita Nagpal.
Ghenie’s paintings of Marilyn Monroe are a relentless representation of a howling, turbulent tragedy, a face broken into crude sideways slewings and gougings and gorgings of paint.
Suzanne Jackson’s paintings come to life, and find their way home, at the Arts Club of Chicago.
Join the New-York Historical Society on December 9 for a virtual conversation with Kellie Jones, Rujeko Hockley, and Cameron Shaw on the past, present, and future of Black art in the US.
The exhibition sold the highest number of tickets in its 127-year history.
What feels like the right way to write about Roman Catholicism, or Christian iconography, to most art critics is heavily influenced by museum discourse, which is far from neutral.
The unique MFASA at the Institute of American Indian Arts offers mentorships with world-renowned Indigenous artists, flexible schedules, and access to one of the US’s cultural capitals.
A group exhibition at the Americas Society investigates ideas of paradise, approaching the Caribbean region as a product of the visitor economy regime.
Visual artists who incorporate psychedelics into their practices maintain a foundational understanding that there is more to reality than meets the eye.