Monday, June 30, 2014

Hadda: Greco-Buddhist Archeological Site (2nd C. BC)


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Haḍḍa is a Greco-Buddhist archeological site located in the ancient region of Gandhara, near the Khyber Pass, ten kilometers south of the city of Jalalabad in today's eastern Afghanistan.....

"Some 23,000 Greco-Buddhist sculptures, both clay and plaster, were excavated in Haḍḍa during the 1930s and the 1970s. The findings combine elements of Buddhism and Hellenism in an almost perfect Hellenistic style.......the style of the artifacts is typical of the late Hellenistic 2nd or 1st century BCE, the Haḍḍa sculptures are usually dated (although with some uncertainty), to the 1st century CE or later (i.e. one or two centuries afterward)..... it has been suggested that Greek communities were directly involved in these realizations, and that "the area might be the cradle of incipient Buddhist sculpture in Indo-Greek style"......The style of many of the works at Haḍḍa is highly Hellenistic, and can be compared to sculptures found at the Temple of Apollo in Bassae, Greece."

Hadda, Monastery of Tapa-e-shotor

"A sculptural group excavated at the Haḍḍa site of Tapa-i-Shotor represents Buddha surrounded by perfectly Hellenistic Herakles and Tyche holding a cornucopia. The only adaptation of the Greek iconography is that Herakles holds the thunderbolt of Vajrapani rather than his usual club.....Other attendants to the Buddha have been excavated which display manifest Hellenistic styles, such as the "Genie au Fleur", today in Paris at the Guimet Museum."

"Buddhist scriptures.........It is believed the oldest surviving Buddhist manuscripts-indeed the oldest surviving Indian manuscripts of any kind-were recovered around Haḍḍa. Probably dating from around the 1st century CE, they were written on bark in Gandhari using the Kharoṣṭhī script, and were unearthed in a clay pot bearing an inscription in the same language and script. They are part of the long-lost canon of the Sarvastivadin Sect that dominated Gandhara and was instrumental in Buddhism's spread into central and east Asia via the Silk Road. The manuscripts are now in the possession of the British Library."

"Haḍḍa is said to have been almost entirely destroyed in the fighting during the Civil war in Afghanistan......A village named Hadda — 11 km from Jalalabad — was the place of about a thousand of stupas and even a whole monastery, Tapa-i-Shotor. The locals were very brief about it, “There is nothing there.” After the trip, I saw the following phrase in a Russian war memoirs book, “Near Jalalabad a village Ada has been the «target of the day». The mujaheds would periodically open fire from there at a military airport nearby. The helicopter pilots repaid in kind and have eventually razed the village to the ground.”

"Musée Guimet......The Buddhist monastery complex at Hadda in Eastern Afghanistan, not far from Kandahar, yielded a rich trove of sculpture and painting during the French excavations of the late 1930s...Monastery of Bagh-Gai. 3rd-4th c. CE. ......Barthoux Expedition 1927-1928..... Monastery of Chakhil-i-Ghoundi. 2nd-3rd. c. CE......base of stupa.....Hadda, Monastery of Tapa-i Kafariha. 2nd-3rd c. CE. .....Barthoux expedition 1928. ... Monastery of Tapa-Kalan. 4th-5th c. CE. .....

"The toponym Haḍḍa has its origins in Sanskrit haḍḍa n. m., "a bone", or, an unrecorded *haḍḍaka, adj., "(place) of bones". The former - if not a fossilized form - would have given rise to a Haḍḍ in the subsequent vernaculars of northern India (and in the Old Indic loans in modern Pashto). The latter would have given rise to the form Haḍḍa naturally and would well reflect the belief that Haḍḍa housed a bone-relic of Buddha. The term haḍḍa is found as a loan in Pashto haḍḍ, n., id. and may reflect the linguistic influence of the original pre-Islamic Indian population of the area."

"..... the great stucco bas-reliefs of central Buddhas flanked by disciples at Tapa-i-Shotor, Hadda, Afghanistan, now destroyed and visible only in photographs – see fig. 50 in Jonathan Tucker, The Silk Road: Art and History, London: Philip Wilson Publishers, 2003.......The British Museum has a related stucco head of a monk, also reputedly from Hadda – see no. 620 in W. Zwalf, A Catalogue of the Gandhara Sculpture in the British Museum. London: British Museum Press, 1996. The Musée Guimet has a similar monk head, also from Hadda –see cat. no. 75 in Afghanistan: Une histoire millénaire. Exposition organisée par la Réunion des Musées nationaux, le Musée National des Arts Asiatiques- Guimet et la Fundacion la Caixa, Barcelone, Paris, 2002."

"Hadda; Nangrahār (DAFA, Foucher, 1923-28; Hackin, 1928; J. Barthoux, 1930, 1933). 2nd-7th century A.D.: Over 1,000 stupas were identified. Stucco statuary in great quantity, limestone and schist bas-reliefs, and wall paintings were found. Large collections now reside in the Musée Guimet, Paris, and the National Museum, Kabul (MDAFA 1/2, 1947; 4, 1933; 6, 1930; 19, 1964 ).".....

"Tapa-ye Šotor, Hadda (AIA, Mustamindy, 1965-73; Tarzi, 1973-79). Chapels and decorative votive stupas were excavated, including the “fish porch” and “Heracles-Vajrapāni chapel” (Plate XXII/1) with statuary set against walls decorated in high relief. Various clay statues, bas-reliefs, and wall painting were found, as well as a small bronze Buddha’s head and a clay Buddha with a manuscript embedded in its back. The site was sacked and burned in the 7th century (Afghanistan 21/1, 2, 1968; 22/2, 3-4, 1969; 24/2-3, 1971; 26/4, 1974; Arts Asiatiques 19, 1969; Tarzi, Comptes rendues de l’Académie des Inscriptions et Belles Lettres, 1976)."........

"Lalma, etc., near Hadda (Kyoto University, Mizuno, 1962-65). 2nd-5th century: At Lalma a large complex was investigated, including stupas and two-roomed and barrel-vaulted caves. The main stupa was decorated with relief sculpture. Numerous later stupas (4th-5th century) and votive Buddhas were found. Fīl-ḵāna contained a stupa and cave complex; its unique Indian style vihāra dates to ca. 200 A.D. At Bāsawal are several groups of schist caves, some pillared, extending to a distance of 3.5 km. Buddha figurines date to the 4th-5th century (Hazar Sum and Fil-Khana, Kyoto, 1967; Durman Tepe and Lalma, Kyoto, 1968; Basawal and Jalalabad-Kabul, Kyoto, 1971).".........

" In 1834-37 C. Masson was officially employed by the East India Company to collect antiquities in Afghanistan. His maps and descriptions, particularly of the areas of Jalālābād and Hadda and of Bagrām, were pioneering contributions, although his “excavations” were unscientific (see his Narrative of Various Journeys in Belochistan, Afghanistan, and the Punjab; including a Residence in those Countries from 1826 to 1836, 3 vols., London, 1842; and W. W. Wilson, Ariana Antiqua: A Descriptive Account of the Antiquities and Coins of Afghanistan with a Memoir on the Buildings called Topes by C. Masson, Esq., Calcutta, 1841).".............

"Scientific exploration in Afghanistan began after September, 1922, when A. Foucher signed, on behalf of the French government, a diplomatic treaty with Afghanistan. In it was recognized the establishment of the Délégation Archéologique Française en Afghanistan (DAFA). Since 1928 this mission has recorded its investigations in a major publication series, the Mémoires (MDAFA). French research concentrated on pinpointing evidence for the spread of Hellenism, tracing the silk route, and studying the relationship of Gandharan art to the Buddhist art of the Afghan area. Balḵ was probed (1924) for evidence of Hellenism but without results; and work shifted to the major ancient sites of Bāmīān, Bagrām, and Hadda. DAFA returned to Balḵ in 1947 under D. Schlumberger but failed to find any pre-Kushan evidence. In 1949 Schlumberger transferred operations to Laškarī Bāzār in the south, thus beginning DAFA’s first large-scale study of Islamic ruins. J. M. Casal directed its first Bronze Age excavations at Mondīgak in 1951. In 1952 Schlumberger was diverted to Sorḵ Kōtal, north of the Hindu Kush, after roadbuilders had unearthed stone blocks inscribed with a form of Greek script. Excavations at this Kushan temple complex revealed the first concrete evidence for an indigenous Bactrian art and shed new light on the development of Gandharan art. A further notable find occurred in 1963, when a large Corinthian capital was brought to DAFA’s attention. It came from Āy Ḵānom on Afghanistan’s northern boundary, where the Kōkča and Panǰ rivers meet. Excavations there (Schlumberger to 1965, P. Bernard, 1965-80, J. C. Cardin) revealed the easternmost city of Greek culture yet known. It bears, however, many distinctly oriental traits and speaks clearly of strong local rulers with syncretic tastes in architecture, art, and religion."..............


John Hopkins.....Northern New Mexico….June 2014


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