Over 2,000 Ancient Buddha Statues Unearthed in China
Buddha statues are seen in Wat Xiengthong temple in Luang Prabang. Over 2,000 ancient Buddha statues have been excavated in China. REUTERS/Tim Chong

A whopping 2,895 Buddha statues and fragments were excavated recently in northern China’s Hebei province.

The statues date back to the Eastern Wei and Northern Qi period (534-577) and were found at the historic site of Yecheng, Linzhang county, Xinhua news agency reported on Monday.

Archaeologists at the Institute of Archaeology of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and the Hebei Provincial Institute of Cultural Heritage said that the statues are made of white marble and blue stone and some are painted or gilded.

The statues vary in length from 20 centimeters to almost the size of a human, said Zhang Wenrui, an official with the Hebei Provincial Bureau of Cultural Heritage. Archaeologists said that repair and conservation of the statues is going on for further research.

Buddhism spread from India to China about 2,000 years ago. The latest find suggests that the religion was quite popular in China, which is home to some of the biggest statues of Buddha in the world, including the Giant Buddha of Leshan and Grand Buddha at Ling Shan.