Beikthano MyanmarMyanmar Beikthano
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In Beikthano (Burmese: ???????,[be????nó], also known as Panhtwa City) in the Magway irrigation region, near today's Taungdwingyi. During the Pyu city-states it was a significant town, possibly a substitution for Sri Ksetra. Nowadays, the humble town is known for its warm water sources and archeological places.
Beikthano, Hanlin and Sri Ksetra, the old towns of the Kingdom of Pyu, were established on the watered lands of the arid Ayeyawady River Plain. In May 2014, they were included on UNESCO's World Cultural List in Southeast Asia, as their archeological legacy goes back more than 1,000 years before Christ to 900 AD.
Beskthano, with is the oldest town ever found and digged up by science, has close proximity to the well-irrigated Kyaukse Plain in the north-east. Nicknamed after the Hindu God Vishnu, the town could be the first cultural and perhaps even political unified state in Burma's past.
This was a large walled village covering about 300 ha within the square ramparts (3 km x 1 km). Walling and fortification along the wall were six metres thick and date from 180 BC to 610 AD. As most of the following towns, the front door of the wall lead to the eastern facing building.
Also stupas and monastery building were dug out within the ramparts. Burma, land of ghosts.
Historical sites of Beikthano - Myanmar Tours
Old Myanmar heritage is generally associated with fantastic tradition and folk music that has been passed down from generations to generations. Beithano is no exeption. Tradition has it that it was established about 2,400 years ago by Princess Panhtwar, who came from a still-famous Tagaung family in Obermyanmar.
It is credited to a more powerful sovereign, Duttabaung of Sri Ksetra, who plundered the town, subjugated the queen, captured her and finally got marrie. The presence of an antique town named Beikthano (Vishnu town), however, is attested by the remains that still exist today, indicating that the myth could have originated from a core of real facts.
Twelve leagues in the Magwe quarter just east of Taungdwingyi, the remains are not easy for accidental passers-by to see, but the older locals recall that the fortress wall was much higher than it was about half a hundred years ago before the tiles for the construction of streets and track. Aside from the interesting history of the town, the locals could not really report about the town centre and the urns, which they often find in and around the town ramparts.
Archaeological digs, which are restricted to 25 chosen places in six open season, show that the site's culture is mainly pyu in nature. Brickwork with solid brick walling, unlabeled pieces of coin with icons of wealth and happiness, urn with simple and exclusive patterns, earthenware and semi-precious stone pearls, ornate ceramics, steel pins and bosse are among the finds that show impressive interactions between Beikthano and the Pyu site of Sri Ksetra.
Significant lack of Buddhist statues, reliquaries and pyu scriptures supports the Beikthano civilization in an early state of pyu-time. It is more or less like a rhomb, each side measures about two mile. In their excavation, the walls' inner protrusions, which were clearly discernible on the northern and southern sides and initially looked like heaps of rubble from fortresses, turned out to be gates.
What is special about these doors is that the fortress wall curves inward instead of turning quadratically at the door. None of these doors have been dug out, but it is obvious that the list of twelve major doors through the whole circumference of the tile wall seems so. Inside the castle wall is a rectangle-shaped brickworks preserve known as the Palastgelände.
During the excavation of the centre of the east face of this preserve, an inner gate was uncovered. In contrast to the northerly ramparts, this gate has a quadratic door. This sculpture shows the importance of this main entry to the fortress, which results in a massive tile pattern in it.
This most important construction was not grounded at a point in the northern part of the castle courtyard. Built of large, well fired brick, the ground plans of the edifice are oblong with a oblong view to the south. Longer side of major body measures about 100 ft and short side 35 ft. There are ten rooms, an entry hallway to the south, a long hallway in the easterly half of the ground level and eight small rooms to the south.
The walls in the fairly conserved parts of the house are up to eight ft above the ground. There is only one way out of the house in the eastern side of the entrance area. On the opposite side, the doors lead into the long hallway, which in turn is linked to each of the small rooms by a large one.
There is good ventilation in the house. There is a small rectangular slit in the southern post to introduce the end of a timber joist or a rod for fixing the key. The fire damaged house was apparently used for living purposes. Because of its close vicinity to the stupa-like construction, this dwelling in Beikthano can be regarded as a Buddhist monastery.
Beneath the buildings found in this building is a brick of earthenware with a round signet containing four Brahmi characters dating from the Second C. AD. The protrusions are very striking and do not carry a labeling column and the barrel or the round frame of the building is not adorned with a sculptural plate of stones as in the case of the prototype in India.
A different kind of sacred or ceremonial tree has been found in three places, with an elevated quadratic basis on which initially stood a cylindrically shaped one, perhaps dominated by a low semi-spherical cupola like the stupa in Nagarjunakonda. Now, the plane shows a quadratic partition, which surrounds the circle-shaped earth in the middle.
While the room around it, within the quadratic walls, was full of soil, the cylinder body was rising from the floor. It is not projected from the drums themselves, but a rectangle shaped panel protrudes from one of the sides. One of Beikthano's special features is this function. Funeral urn is definitely connected to them, although they are not really anchored in them.
On one of these ceremonial constructions, an elongated mortal framework and two groups of mortal bone were found outside the southern and northern part. The stratigraph shows that the urn and bone were simultaneously embedded in one stratum. Its lack of religion and the clear connection of the building with the funeral of urn and man-made frames suggest the grave character of the work.
Beikthano's architectural activities were certainly affected by the Buddhist master builder. If it were not for the strange funeral typical of the Beikthano memorials, they could be considered as Buddhist stupas. There are two long buildings that have been excavated and are columned arcades, which were part of the monastery facilities.
The columns are made of wood; and the funeral of urn inside the structure and around the outer pedestal is a speciality not found in the southern India part. It is highly likely that these patterns indicate the existence in Beikthano of a type of Buddhism similar to that of the cults Aparaseliya and Mahisasaka of Amaravati and Nagarjunakonda, who began their career without the Buddha picture and did not bow to the widespread desire for pictorial adoration.
Beikthano's settlement, which is representative of all excavations except one, represents the oldest pyu-museum. Given the nature of the structure, the type of potter, the promising markings on the potter's wheel, the legend on the earthenware, the funerary urn and the lack of Buddhist statues, this era can be attributed to the first to the fifth century A.D. This chronic estimate on the basis of archeological evidence is corroborated by a carbon dating back to a radioanalysis of wood coal samples gathered from unimpaired rubble strata that occurred shortly after the collapse of some of the houses by fire.
So far the excavation in Myanmar has been relatively small. The only two places that have been researched with a certain amount of depth are Sri Ksetra and Bagan, even though the reports of these previous experiments were not well documented. Beikthano is thus a new site that is to be dug out in a systematic manner for research into the pyuulture.
However, the antiques found in Sri and Halin offer precious connections to the layered Beikthano artefacts. These funerary burns are clear proof of the intercultural relation between Beikthano on the one side and Sri Csetra and Halin on the other. Countless litter bins found in Sri Csetra have the same characteristics as Beikthano's in terms of content and type of graves.
Urning found so far in Halin is relatively rare, but the case and the almost vertical ones are similar to those in Beikthano. The arrangement of the urn shows that it was not individually laid to rest at different periods, but in different groups at various graves in or around the buildings.
Therefore it could be concluded that the ballot boxes were subject to a second funeral. Appropriate facilities must have existed in which the remnants of incinerated corpses could be laid to rest or placed in temporary storage until a reasonable number of them were collected for mass funeral at appropriate gravesites or facilities erected from case to case inside or outside the town.
It is possible that the edifice on site 2 could have fulfilled the function. This conclusion is strongly supported by the large amount of various kinds of potteries and calcinated bone and skull found in this texture. Its conspicuous design with regard to the convents at site 20 in Nagarjunakonda does not leave any doubts about its functionality, and the storing of urn in a convent house before the permanent funeral can be seen as part of the graves seen by the Beikthano people.
Beikthano's ancient history is documented by the salvage of unlabelled medallions known as Pyu-Coin. It can be seen from these examples that not only the species predominating in Sriksetra, but also the species characteristic of Halin can be found here. These unlabelled tokens could definitely be considered one of the main features of the Pyu civilization in Myanmar.
Beikthano's Pyus knew the techniques of tile construction, but since their occupation before the construction of the walled town they have lived in buildings made of ruinous material such as wood and wood. Beikthano's script ure was not used for perpetual recording and consequently labeled Buddhist text was not in fashion as with Sri Ksetra.