Experts in Japan have made a surprising discovery as they have found scrolls and artifacts hidden in a statue. Nara National University investigators examined the statue and found around 180 artifacts inside it.
Even the Head Priest of the Temple Does Not Know How Artifacts Got Inside
Around 150 scrolls were found in the body of the statue, which resides in the Hokkeji Temple in Nara, and another 30 artifacts in the head of the statue. Investigators are now wondering how the artifacts managed to get inside the statue and why they have been left inside it. The head priest said that he has no idea as to how the artifacts got inside the statue.
The Hokkeji Temple was built at a time when Buddhism was very popular and this was during the 8th century when Nara became the center of Buddhist activity. The temple is home to a large number of treasures and the statue found to be hiding the artifacts was among them. It is described as being a precious and rare object.
The Statue is of Bodhisattva Monju Bosatsu
The statue portrays Bodhisattva Monju Bosatsu, a person chose not to become a Buddha or enter Nirvana to help humanity escape suffering. It is thought that the statue is seven centuries old and it has been at the temple for many years. The Monju Bosatsu statue is 30 inches in height. Monju Bosatsu is said to be associated with wisdom and venerated for the ability to be able to help people to become enlightened and is often depicted as being a youth.
The Bodhisattva is one of the four greats that have been depicted amongst Buddhist art in numerous East Asian countries. Experts said that it was common for items and mummies to be put into Buddhist statues and after some consultation with the head priest at the temple, a group of experts has been given permission to further examine the statue on the promise it comes to no harm.
CT scanner was used to look inside the Statue
A team belonging to the Nara National University made use of a CT scanner to look at the statue and allowed them to glimpse inside. Investigators said there was a hollow space inside the statue, which ran from the bottom to the top. The CT scan revealed the items hidden away and experts said they would have been inside the statue for many centuries. It was said that the scrolls and artifacts might never have been removed once they were put inside and they have not yet determined how the artifacts were placed inside.
The statue is now more of a historical object than ever before and the hidden artifacts have increased its value. They will ensure it is set to become an attraction that will be very popular. The scan has now ensured that the Monju Bosatsu statue is a mystery and it is on display at the Nara National Museum for a limited period.
Artifacts Are of Great Archaeological and Historic Interest
The discovery of the hidden artifacts raised a very important issue for the team investigating and the temple. The items are classed as being of great archaeological and historic interest. However, experts cannot examine them due to them being sealed inside the statue. This proves something of a dilemma for the team as getting them out means damaging the statue. If not they have to remain where they are unseen.
It is not very likely that people will establish why the artifacts were put inside the statue and who put them inside or why.